China’s smartphone market hits negative growth for the first time

The growth story of the world’s largest smartphone market, China, came to an end as it suffered its first-ever annual decline, with shipments down by 4% from 2016 to 459 million units in 2017. This drop was partly due to China having one of its worst year-on-year performances in Q4 2017, with shipments plummeting by over 14% to just under 113 million units according to market analyst Canalys.

  • Huawei grew shipments by 9% against the overall market decline, shipping more than 24 million smartphones, holding the top spot.
  • Shipments fell for both Oppo and Vivo, by 16% and 7% respectively with Oppo shipping 19 million smartphones and Vivo 17 million.
  • Apple overtook Xiaomi to take fourth place, pushing Xiaomi back to fifth with 13 million units.

The leading players will make aggressive plans to maintain or grow their market share. We can expect a major market shake-up in China in 2018.

Hattie He, Canalys Research Analyst

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