In the all-important and lucrative Chinese smartphone market, Huawei has taken the top spot in terms of shipment volumes for the second quarter, as Xiaomi tumbled to fourth and Apple continued its struggles.

The data was published by the International Data Corporation in its latest report for the China smartphone market.

According to IDC's report, Huawei shipped 19.1 million units of smartphones for the quarter ending June 30, posting a 15.2 percent growth and increasing its market share from 15.6 percent to 17.2 percent, compared with the second quarter of last year. The company is now on top of the Chinese smartphone market, followed by OPPO and Vivo.

OPPO shipped 18 million units in the second quarter for a 16.2 percent market share, while Vivo shipped 14.7 million units for a 13.2 percent market share. OPPO posted the best year-over-year growth among the top 5 companies in the Chinese smartphone market at 124.1 percent, with Vivo recording the second-best growth at 74.7 percent.

Xiaomi, meanwhile, saw shipment volumes tumble by 38.4 percent to 10.5 million units, dropping its market share to 9.5 percent. In the same quarter of 2015, Xiaomi was the market leader with a 16.1 percent market share and 17.1 million units shipped.

Apple likewise struggled with a 31.7 percent drop in sales to 8.6 million units, dragging down its market share to 7.8 percent. In the second quarter last year, Apple held an 11.9 percent market share.

Xiaomi, however, has disputed IDC's figures, referring to data released by other research companies. According to IHS, Xiaomi shipped 14.2 million units in the second quarter, while Strategy Analytics pegged the company's sales at 12.8 million units. Nevertheless, with these numbers, Xiaomi would still be at the fourth spot if the other IDC figures were taken into account.

According to IDC, OPPO and Vivo were able to post massive shipment volume increases because of the strength of the companies' offline channels. For Tier 3 to Tier 5 cities, the companies were aggressive in their advertisements and shop placements, and for Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, they focused on sponsorships of programs in the entertainment industry to attract customers to their brands.

All the Chinese companies registered an increase in their sales compared with the first quarter of the year, but Apple's shipment volumes continued to decline. The iPhone SE did not find success in China, as consumers mostly preferred smartphones with larger displays.

The languishing sales in China have prompted Apple to look for other ways to boost revenues and increase its presence in the country. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited China and promised that an Asia-Pacific Research and Development Center will be established in the country before the end of 2016. Earlier in the year, Apple also made a $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing, which recently acquired Uber's China operations.

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