In a general sense, Chinese manufacturing companies have really started to branch out to different locations, especially in the smartphone industry. But while the world is more familiar with Xiaomi and Huawei, the companies that are now making the most ground in the country are actually Vivo and Oppo. Currently, these two companies are owning the Chinese market.
As C|Net notes, Oppo had 16.6 percent of the market under its wing in the months from July to September. Meanwhile, Vivo had 16.2 percent. Huawei came in only at third with 15 percent. Xiaomi, which was once the leader in the industry, trailed with 10.6 percent of the market.
The difference is stark, as Oppo and Vivo had just 9.9 percent and 8.2 percent of the Chinese market a year ago, during the third quarter of 2015. Indeed, Android Authority confirms that the number of sales from Oppo, in particular, grew exponentially in the past year. According to James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Research, shipments grew by 82 percent. Meanwhile, Vivo shipments grew 114 percent in a year over year comparison.
"The focus on traditional offline retail and wider distribution network which still constitutes three-fourth of smartphone demand has been key to OPPO and Vivo success," Yan said. On the other hand, Huawei and Xiaomi respectively saw just 4 percent and 1 percent growth. Counterpoint Senior Analyst MengMeng Zhang reasoned that the slow growth is due to a lack of offline presence.
"Xiaomi needs a hero flagship device in premium to drive mindshare to compete with much more focused R&D and manufacturing driven brands such as Oppo, Vivo, Apple and Huawei," Zhang said. "Also, lack of presence in offline space has been one of the determinants for Xiaomi's slowing growth as its e-commerce driven business model has hit a ceiling."