Chinese smartphone shipments registered another quarter of decline as the market contracted 5% in the third quarter of 017 to 119 million units, according to Canalys. Apple’s declining streak in China has come to an end, as shipments grew 40% from eight million in quarter three 2016 to about 11 million this quarter.
This makes it the iPhone’s best performance in China in the last eight quarters, where its growth has slowed considerably since the launch of the iPhone 6s, notes the research group. The mix of the iPhone 8 series at launch is also higher than the corresponding mix of the iPhone 7 series at launch last year. Despite being touted as widely expensive, excitement for the launch of the iPhone X is building in China.
“While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term,” says Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.
The race to the top of the Chinese smartphone market remains tight as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo took 19%, 18% and 17% market share, respectively, in quarter three. Huawei grew shipments by 23%, shipping over 22 million units to take the lead, while Oppo declined slightly (compared to the stellar performance a year ago) shipping 21 million units. Vivo, with a 26% growth was the most impressive performer in the top three, shipping over 20 million units. Xiaomi and Apple round up the top five this quarter.