Chinese phone makers now account for 42 per cent of the global smartphone market, despite shipments falling both internationally and in their local market, according to Counterpoint Research.
The combined global smartphone market share of Chinese majors Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme (HOVXR) reached 42% in Q2 2019, the highest it has ever been. This was even as global smartphone shipments fell 1.2% year-on-year (YoY) to 360 million units during Q2 2019, making it the seventh consecutive quarter of decline.
Commenting on the record market share for HOVXR, Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research noted: “Heavy marketing, faster portfolio refresh, high spec devices at aggressive prices, and multi-channel presence are some of the key reasons why Chinese brands fared better than the local and global OEMs. These brands have been aggressively expanding outside China and achieving growth offsetting the saturation in their home market. Their strategies and product portfolios are more aligned to the local needs and preferences, which is one of their key strengths.”
The smartphone market slowdown is mainly due to China, which has continued to decline for two years now. China alone accounts for over one-fourth of the global smartphone shipments and declined 9% YoY during the quarter. The heightened US-China trade war during the quarter has further escalated the uncertainties of the smartphone market. India remains a key growth market as the shipments set a second-quarter record.
Commenting on the trade war Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said: “The US-China trade war escalated with Huawei added in the entity list in May. Despite the ban, Huawei was able to register a 4.6% growth during the quarter, capturing a 16% market share. The effect of the ban did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter, which will not be the case in the future. In the coming quarters, Huawei is likely to be aggressive in its home market and register some growth there, but it will not be enough to offset for the decline in its overseas shipments. This will further lead to the decline of the overall smartphone market in 2019. However, the gap created in the market by Huawei gives a window of opportunity to other OEMs, especially Samsung, to leverage.”
A portion of the decline in 2019 is likely to be compensated by the adoption of 5G.
Commenting on 5G, Varun Mishra, added: “We expect that 5G will have a faster rollout than 4G LTE. Unlike 4G, which was split between FDD-LTE and TD-LTE, 5G has a universal standard, which will make the ramp-up faster. We expect sales of 5G devices to be over 20 million in 2019. Network expansion of carriers, subsidies, and more OEMs committing to early 5G device launches than during the early 4G era Since these devices are expected to be limited to the premium segment in 2019, the adoption will also drive the market average selling price (ASP). Consumers are also expecting to pay higher for the 5G smartphone than what they paid for the 4G device.”
Even though shipments continued to decline, the market ASP is likely to increase, which will drive revenue for the industry. Adoption of 5G in mature economies and the shift from entry-level phones to mid-segment phones in emerging economies will drive up ASPs.
Source: Counterpoint Research