Canalys: In Q1 2022, only 75.6 million smartphones will be shipped in mainland China

The Canalys agency said that in the first quarter of 2022, the performance of the smartphone market in mainland China continued to lag behind the global market, with only 75.6 million units shipped, down 18% year-on-year and 13% month-on-month.

The market experienced a seasonal correction in the quarter compared to the unusual high in the first quarter of 2021. Honor topped the list for the first time with 15 million units shipped and a staggering 205% growth rate. OPPO (including OnePlus) continued to push forward with brand transformation, maintaining second place with 13.9 million units shipped. Apple managed to hold onto its top three spots after a strong fourth quarter last year. vivo and Xiaomi rounded out the top five with shipments of 12.2 million and 10.6 million units, respectively.

Analysts at Canalys said: "Given the lacklustre market performance in the fourth quarter of last year, a pullback this quarter is to be expected. The Chinese smartphone market has been declining for nearly three years, and demand and production typically remain low in the first quarter. As Huawei's shipments have declined in the past few quarters, the competition among the five major manufacturers has intensified. Although most leading manufacturers have suspended the pace of new product releases in the first quarter, Honor still successfully achieved the first quarter. 6% quarter-on-quarter growth. The Honor 60 series and X30 series continued to expand their offline channels, which contributed to the brand's steady performance."

Canalys analysts said: "Starting in February, the outbreak of the Omicron variant and strict lockdowns in major cities cast a shadow over a consumer market that has yet to recover from last year's weakness. Retail closures and logistics delays have forced manufacturers to adopt a more cautious stocking strategy, which is bound to affect short-term shipments. Growing macroeconomic uncertainties at home and abroad will further hit the job market and consumer confidence has a particularly significant impact on the low-end smartphone market. This year, domestic manufacturers have no choice but to continue to invest more in the mid-to-high-end market to hedge against the risk of slowing mass-market mobile phone sales.”

The analyst added: "Amid business uncertainty and continued disruption, manufacturers should cautiously scale back their resource investment in the Chinese market. With supply pressure eased, manufacturers can take advantage of this opportunity to shift their focus to improving product attractiveness, In terms of improving channel layout and increasing customer loyalty. At the same time, the performance of manufacturers in the Chinese market is crucial to maintaining confidence in the supply chain, and it is even more important for the capacity allocation of manufacturers themselves and the entire smartphone category. Since China is the majority of the upstream supply chain The base camp of the market, overly pessimistic market sentiment will force component suppliers to shift production capacity to other more profitable product categories. The last thing manufacturers want is to have another shortage of components in the second half of the year or early 2023 when demand rebounds scene." 

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