Counterpoint Research’s 2017 smartphone market report for China may seem a little strange without the presence of Samsung, but that’s what they’re telling us in their recently-released findings. Unsurprisingly, Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, and Xiaomi were some of the best-sellers, with Apple being the only foreign brand in the list. The mid-range Oppo R9s got the top spot, gaining 3% of the market share, with the iPhone 7 Plus a close second with 2.8%.
The report also says that except for the iPhone 7, most of the best-selling smartphones in China for 2017 were mid-tier devices. The average monthly sales of the top ten devices, in terms of volume, were more than 1 million. Rounding out the top 10 according to their report were: vivo X9, Oppo A57, iPhone 7, Oppo R11, vivo Y66, Honor 8 lite, Xiaomi RedMi Note 4X, and Honor Enjoy 6X. Note that most of these models are unfamiliar to the non-Chinese market or may be a different variant of models we’re already familiar with.
As per their analysis, the Oppo R9s topped the charts because of their “extensive offline penetration” as well as the product and pricing strategies. This included a focus on selfies and targeting the mid-tier device with its $200 – $450 pricing, the most popular price band in China. vivo also did the same, highlight the dual cameras for both the back and front as well as offering a variety of colors for those already sick of the usual blacks and whites and grays.
The lack of Samsung in this list makes us question their methodology, but that may also mean that the Korean OEM has failed big time to penetrate the Chinese market, the biggest in the world. It can also mean that Chinese brands are doing their job, offering competitive prices, focusing on fewer models, and emphasizing the photography aspects of their devices.