Huawei Struggles Hitting Sales in China: Oppo Becomes Largest Smartphone Brand
(Photo : (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)) For the first time, Oppo just recently became the number one smartphone maker in China. This is the result of two factors: Oppo’s rise and Huawei’s decline. The company has also become the second 5G manufacturers in China.

For the first time, Oppo just recently became the number one smartphone maker in China. This is the result of two factors: Oppo's rise and Huawei's decline. The company has also become the second 5G manufacturers in China.

Oppo Leading in Sales Ousting Huawei

Engadget reports that US trade bans against Huawei have a very tangible effect on the company's sales in China. Counterpoint Research now estimates that Huawei's Chinese market share dropped to 16 percent in Jan. 2021. For context, the tech giant had a 41 percent share in the first quarter of 2020.

Huawei's decision to sell the Honor brand played a part in its decline, but Counterpoint pinned their sales decent on the US restrictions. With components such as the processors and 5G modems in short supply, Huawei focuses on premium, low-volumes phones such as the Mate 40 Pro to make the most of its limited stock.

SlashGear reports that Oppo reached a point at which the company beat out every smartphone brand in the entirety of China, with blockbuster growth over the past several months.

Per Counterpoint, Oppo's sales grew 26 percent year-over-year compared to this same month in the year 2020. Oppo smartphone sales also increased by 33 percent compared to Dec. 2020.

Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research, Varun Mishra, stated that Oppo had successfully repositioned its product lines last year with the Reno series's rebranding and launching a more capable device at a lower price point than its predecessor helped Oppo capture the affordable premium segment.

According to GSMArena, Oppo launched their mid-ranger Oppo A72 5G in July last year, simultaneously starting off Huawei's decline in sales. On Dec. 2020, Oppo also launched the Reno Series 5 that solidifies its status as the number one smartphone manufacturer in China.

Also Read: Huawei Announces 4G on P40 Phone Series in China: Release Date, Features, Price, and More

The publication believes that 5G smartphones made up 65 percent of all units sold in China during the last quarter of 2020. The company can source 4G chips, but for the 5G phones, it has to rely on the chips it stockpiled before the trade restrictions came into effect. So, Huawei has shifted its focus to the premium market where profit margins are higher (but sales volumes are lower).

Huawei's decline has been beneficial for Xiaomi. As the company and the BBK brands are advancing on different fronts - Xiaomi is eating into Huawei's online business, Oppo and Vivo are doing better in offline sales.

Uncertain Future for Huawei

The fall from grace has already changed the dynamics of the Chinese market. Oppo became the country's top brand for the first time in January, claiming a 21 percent share, while its sister brand Vivo was not far behind with 20 percent. Huawei was tied for percentage with Apple and Xiaomi at 16 percent.

Of course, if someone would lump together each of the brands that live inside the BBK Electronics umbrella (Oppo, Vivo, Realme, OnePlus, and others), they have a monstrous hold over China - and a whole lot of the rest of the world.

The future does not look bright for Huawei. Analyst predicts that the company's decline will continue throughout 2021. the competition is also not standing idly by as Oppo plans to release its newest flagship, the Oppo Find X3, on March 11.

Related Article: Xiaomi Market Share 2020: Xiaomi Shows Impressive Numbers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Huawei Falls Behind

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Written by: Luis Smith

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