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Over the hill? Apple falls behind Huawei and Xiaomi in China in Q2 2016

Apple’s share in the smartphone market in China has fallen behind China’s leading smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi in the second quarter of 2016, market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported on Wednesday.

According to the Kantar report, the market share of Apple’s iOS smartphones in China was 17.9% in Q2 2016, a 1.8% year-on-year decline, lower than Huawei’s 25.7% and Xiaomi’s 18.5%.

“While the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus remain the top selling smartphones in the region, pressure from Huawei’s Mate 8 and P9, Xiaomi’s RedMi Note 3 and Mi 5, and Oppo’s R7 has led to increased competition in the market,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia in the report.

Kantar said Apple’s market share in China will be increased if it can make more iPhone SE smartphones, since “51% of Chinese iPhone owners own an iPhone 5s or older” which means a large opportunity to upgrade these consumers to the latest four-inch iPhone SE.

“With the continued supply constraints of the iPhone SE, that model was not able to make the expected impact, accounting for 2.5% of smartphone sales in the second quarter,” said Timpson.

Globally, Apple has also seen a decline in smartphone shipments made in Q2 2016. It shipped 40.4 million smartphones in Q2 2016, a 15% year-on-year decline. Huawei was not far behind Apple with 32.1 million shipments made during the same period, according to a report by American market research firm IDC in July.

Although Xiaomi has failed again to be listed in the IDC world top five smartphone vendors in terms of shipments made in Q2 2016, Kantar’s statistics showing Xiaomi’s aforementioned holding of 18.5% of the China market  is really not such a bad result.

Eyeing the big improvements of Chinese smartphone makers OPPO and Vivo in 2016 – successes partly based on their retail stores – Xiaomi has also started to set up more stores in China to boost its sales.

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