Oppo Reno 5 Pro close up on camera

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • Oppo is now the biggest smartphone maker in China, according to a new report.
  • Vivo has climbed to second on the list, with Huawei slipping to third.

Despite its issues, Huawei entered 2021 as China’s top smartphone maker. However, considering the stunting effect the US ban has had on the firm, it was likely that dominance would eventually come to an end. Now, Counterpoint is reporting that Oppo has usurped the firm as the biggest smartphone maker in China for the first time.

Oppo owned 21% of the country’s market share in January 2021, with Vivo coming close to topping it at 20%. Notably, Huawei slipped to third, tied with Apple and Xiaomi. All three firms now hold 16% market share each.

Huawei’s fall is exceptionally stark. In Q2 2020, it owned 46% of the Chinese market — the country remained a bastion for the firm. That popularity has waned since, falling from 30% in Q4 2020 to its new low watermark at the beginning of this year. Huawei has also since offloaded Honor, so that would account for part of the market share loss.

china market share q4 2020 counterpoint

Credit: Counterpoint

Oppo and Huawei: Reversed fortunes

As a juxtaposition, Oppo’s local growth is fierce. It expanded its sales in China by 33% month-over-month, per Counterpoint. It also saw a 26% increase in sales year-over-year. The research firm also suggests that Oppo held just 16% of the country’s market share in Q4 2020 and was placed behind Vivo.

Part of its success is adopting a Huawei-like strategy. The company’s now playing in the segments its rival has vacated. The likes of the Reno 5 series give potential buyers a solid premium mid-ranger. And despite the phone’s imaging shortcomings, it packs a swift chipset, 5G smarts, and lengthy battery life. Oppo’s budget range is propped up by the A series, while it has the flagship Find X3 series coming on steam too.

Huawei, with its chip shortages, can no longer compete with the new players on all fronts. It’s putting its hopes on high-end products exclusively, like the Mate X2 foldable and upcoming P50 series.

Oppo continues to gain a larger global presence too, but even if the ban is reviewed, it’s unlikely that Huawei will regain what it lost overnight.

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