Smartphone sales in China declined 21%
Apple (AAPL) sold fewer smartphones in China than its main rivals in the country in 1Q18, according to research firm Canalys. As a result, Apple was displaced to the fifth position from the fourth position it held in 4Q17. The ranking is based on the number of smartphones shipped. Apple’s ranking slipped at a time when China’s smartphone market also posted its biggest decline. Smartphone sales in China fell 21% year-over-year in 1Q18.
Huawei shipped the most smartphones in China in 1Q18, but Xiaomi recorded the largest increase in shipments in the quarter and took Apple’s fourth position. Xiaomi, which is known for modestly priced handsets, shipped 12 million smartphones, representing an increase of 37% year-over-year. Oppo and Vivo ranked second and third, respectively, in China’s smartphone market in 1Q18 based on the number of devices sold.
Huawei gearing up to launch 5G-ready smartphone
Huawei, which topped the chart in China’s smartphone market in 1Q18, is looking to launch a 5G-ready mass-market smartphone in 2018. That would put it ahead of many rivals because Qualcomm (QCOM), a leading supplier of mobile chips, expects 5G-ready consumer smartphones to start arriving next year. In addition to building smartphones, Huawei also sells telecom equipment. The company competes with Nokia (NOK) and Ericsson (ERIC) to supply 5G telecom gear to mobile network operators.
Fortunes reversed for Apple and Samsung in China
Apple and Samsung (SSNLF) were once big smartphone vendors in China, but their fortunes in the country have reversed as domestic competitors have dominated the scene. Samsung is no longer one of the five largest smartphone vendors in China.