Huawei is even struggling in its domestic smartphone market

New data from research firm Counterpoint reveals that Vivo and Oppo are scrapping it out for the top smartphone spot in China, with Huawei now a distant third.

Huawei commanded almost half of the Chinese smartphone market at recently as Q2 of last year, according to Counterpoint, but that has fallen off a cliff. Of course the divestment of the Honor brand will have contributed to that decline, but that was completed in Q4 2020, when Huawei still managed to claim 30% of its domestic market. By Q1 2021 Huawei was bumping along at 15%.

None of this comes as any great surprise, with a combination of a chip embargo and being denied access to full Android meaning Huawei is struggling for both volume and quality. All things considered, a 15% of the market is still a decent effort, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see that shrink further. “Vivo and Oppo are adopting aggressive market and product strategies, and we expect to see the two brands continue to jostle for the top spot in 2021,” said Yang Wang of Counterpoint.

Wang reckons a head start on the 5G smartphone market was crucial for Vivo, which languished in the shadow of the better known Chinese vendors for years. The Nex 3 5G and iQOO Pro 5G were launched in August 2019 and September 2019, respectively. It also seems to have a fairly comprehensive range of devices down across the price tiers.

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