/When in Rome: smartphone trends by location in China

When in Rome: smartphone trends by location in China

Among 34 Chinese provinces, which smartphones are the most popular?

Data from market research firm Sino shows that in Q1 2016, OPPO turned out to be the bestseller offline in most provinces of China. While Shanghai’s No.1 was still Apple – which also occupied the top place in two other coastal provinces – Huawei performed the best in six provinces or municipalities, including Beijing and Tianjin.

In addition, Vivo, who spent an arm and a leg to make the South Korean actor Song Joong Ki their spokesperson, occupied first place in only three provinces. If you don’t know who Song is, he became widely known in China for his role in the drama Descendants of the Sun, and is called the “national husband” for his pretty-boy looks and large female following.

IDC told AllChinaTech that OPPO and Vivo are doing well, especially in China’s Tier 3 to Tier 5 cities where they have opened many shops.

According to the research firm Gartner, OPPO has replaced Xiaomi and become the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer (measured by total units shipped) in Q1 2016, with a unit sales growth of 145%, and a YoY market share increase from 2.0% to 4.6%. The top three smartphone makers by world market share are Samsung with 23.2%, Apple with 14.8%, and Huawei with 8.3%.

In addition, OPPO said this June that it had sold over seven million units of OPPO R9, which was released in late March, in less than three months after its debut. The company shipped a total of 50 million units in 2015, and its sales of smartphones priced between RMB 2,000 (USD 300) to RMB 3,000 had the biggest market share of OPPO products in China.

Market research institute GfK reported that the average price of a smartphone in China was RMB 1,503 in the first half of 2016, RMB 114 higher than last year’s. In this respect, OPPO’s progress may be attributed to many Chinese consumers’ decreasing concern about price.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.