Counterpoint: Chinese smartphone OEMs steadily capture overseas markets

Collecting news from Weibo, Counterpoint's Deputy Research Director delivered a speech on the theme of "Market Pattern Analysis of Chinese Smartphone Manufacturers and Overseas Market Research", discussing the current market difficulties faced by Chinese smartphone manufacturers, the development of new technologies, and China's OEM's influence overseas...etc.

Decreased shipments due to inventory bursting

As can be seen from the data presented on site, China’s smartphone shipments fell by 19% year-on-year and 12% quarter-on-quarter, reaching 73.7 million units in the first quarter of 2022. Ethan Qi said that the market is still weak, and the replacement cycle of mobile phones has been further extended, which has now exceeded the 30-month mark. What is even more pessimistic is that the resurgence of the new crown epidemic continues to plague the market on both sides of supply and demand. For example, in the first quarter of 2022, Shanghai, Beijing, etc. implemented strict lockdowns. In interviews with Counterpoint, retailers and mobile phone brand manufacturers reported that they are currently The inventory level of mobile phone brands is at a relatively high position, and mobile phone brand factories continue to release new phones despite the dilemma of indigestible inventory. Based on this, it is speculated that smartphone shipments in the second quarter may continue to decline sequentially.

New technology brings new expectations

From last year to the beginning of this year, domestic mobile phone OEM manufacturers have stormed the high-end market occupied by Apple with self-developed technological innovations, and expect to gain some gains. China's major manufacturers have begun to actively try to apply new technologies such as under-screen cameras and folding screens. The foldable screen technology in smartphones will stand out in 2022, and the application will be accelerated. Ethan Qi said that mobile phone foldable technology represents an important development direction for high-end smartphones. In 2021, the sales volume of foldable smartphones in China is close to 1.2 million, and it is expected to exceed 2.6 million this year. It can be seen that users expect mobile phones to achieve deeper innovation, but these data may not represent the real market demand and the strength of manufacturers.

Major brands are waiting for the opportunity

Finally, Ethan Qi said that the competitive landscape of Chinese mobile phone OEMs has been changing significantly, and manufacturers are steadily capturing overseas markets. In the context of the declining demand for smartphones from Chinese mobile phone manufacturers, the main growth in mobile phone sales came from overseas markets. Ethan Qi took the data of the first quarter of 2022 as an example to analyze the acceleration of overseas market expansion by OPPO, Xiaomi, vivo and realme. Nearly half of vivo's shipments in the first quarter of 2022 came from China. It can be seen that vivo's overseas expansion is not so aggressive, but it actually has a strong influence in India and Southeast Asia. In terms of regional rankings, vivo ranks among the top 5 smartphone brands in China (4th), India (4th), and Southeast Asia (2nd). Vivo is expected to expand further in Latin America and Europe, while defending its market share in China and India.

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