Vivo and Oppo became China’s largest and second-largest smartphone brands in this year’s first quarter, as embattled former leader Huawei has begun feeling the weight of U.S. sanctions that block its access to chips made with American technology.
In the three months through March, Vivo shipped 21.6 million smartphones, representing a year-on-year increase of 79% and giving it a market share of 23%, according to research firm Canalys.
The rise of Vivo, which was closely followed by Oppo with a market share of 22%, echoed the robust gains for the broader Chinese smartphone market, which saw shipments rise 27% to 92.4 million units.
Apart from benefitting from the decline of Huawei, which ranked third with a market share of 16% and was the only vendor among the top five brands to suffer a sales drop, Canalys attributed Vivo and Oppo’s success to their strong performance in the affordable 5G segment where products are normally priced below 2,000 yuan ($300).
“The affordable 5G segment is just low-hanging fruit for Huawei’s competitors in China,” said Nicole Peng, vice president of mobility at Canalys. She said Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi are expected to release their own flagship products in the high-priced 5G segment where Huawei still holds a solid position with offerings such as the Mate 40 Pro and Nova 8 Pro.
In the first quarter, Xiaomi and Apple came in fourth and fifth with market shares of 15% and 13%, according to Canalys.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (email@example.com)