China's smartphone shipments decline but top five gain market share

After years of rapid growth, China's smartphone market took a hit last quarter, which even saw a year-on-year decline in shipments.

The figures also reflect a consolidation of market share among the top five smartphone makers, with smaller vendors hit the hardest.

Smartphone vendors shipped 117.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 in the country, down four per cent from 123.0 million units over the same time in 2014, according to the latest report released by Strategy Analytics Friday.

But the top five market players all saw shipment increases as Huawei shipped 17.9 million units, up from 11.9 million units from one year before.

Xiaomi shipped 17.5 million units, up from 15.7 million units.

Apple shipped a record 15.5 million units, up from 13.4 million units.

Vivo held on to the fourth position by shipping 11.8 million units, up 20 per cent year-on-year.

Another Chinese brand, OPPO, pushed into the fifth spot on China's rankings as the company shipped 10.8 million smartphones, up from 9.6 million units.

Market players not in the top five saw a drop, shipping a total of 44.4 million units, down from 62.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Although Samsung and Lenovo ,which acquired Motorola, shipped 81.3 million and 20.2 million smartphones respectively worldwide in the last quarter of 2015, ranking first and fourth globally, they did not make the top five in China, according to Strategy Analytics' recent report on global smartphone shipments published Thursday.

However, for the entire year of 2015, smartphone vendors still managed a three per cent year-on-year increase as they shipped a record 438 million units in a country with a population of about 1.37 billion.

Xiaomi won a meager victory by shipping a total of 67.5 milllion units in its home market, defending the first position, followed by Huawei, with a total shipment of 62.2 million units. Apple shipped 49.5 million iPhones, ranking third and taking a 13 per cent of market share in China.

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