Although Xiaomi may not have shipped quite as many smartphones last year as some had been expecting, data from Canalys and Strategy Analytics suggests that Xiaomi was still the largest smartphone manufacturer in China in 2015. Last year, Xiaomi missed its 80 million sales target by just under 10 million units. This figure was already revised down from a 100 million global target that had been set earlier in the year.
Looking at the yearly results from Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi led China’s market with 67.5 million shipments throughout the year, followed closely by rival Huawei which shipped 62.2 million. Apple secured itself third position in the country, followed by Vivo and OPPO in fourth and fifth places.
Although Xiaomi may still hold the top spot in China, it is Huawei which now looks to be the fastest growing of the two. Huawei saw its shipments increase from 41.3 to 62.2 million year over year, a huge growth rate of almost 51 percent. Xiaomi saw a growth rate of just 17 percent, while Vivo and OPPO grew by 52 and 49 percent respectively. Interestingly, the research notes that Huawei’s average smartphone selling price rose from $216 to $306 last year, while Xiaomi’s fell from $189 to $149.
Overall, the Chinese smartphone market grew by just 3.4 percent, its slowest rate to date. Combined with the big growth of the leading manufacturers, this suggests that a number of other players are being pushed out of the Chinese market. Samsung saw its market share hit new lows in Q4 2015, according to Canalys, falling from some 11.6 percent to just 7.8 percent over the space of one year.
It was inevitable that the Chinese smartphone market would show signs of saturation, but it may have happened sooner than many had expected. Chinese consumers look to be turning their preference towards higher-end products, which has worked to the favour of Huawei and Vivo, but has slowed Xiaomi’s march. That said, Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 5 handset is right around the corner.