According to Counterpoint’s China Smartphone Weekly Tracker, for the first time ever, Vivo has climbed to the top spot in the Chinese local market. In the eleventh week of 2021, Vivo surpassed its nearest rival OPPO because of a consumer-friendly product line-up.
The contest for becoming number one in China’s smartphone market is growing each day with the top spot witnessing variations every now and then. Vivo was able to surpass OPPO during week 11 and again in week 13 because of the impressive performance of its newly launched budget model Y3 and S9,
Exhibit 1: China Weekly Smartphone Market Share trends
* Notes: Huawei excludes HONOR; OPPO excludes realme and OnePlus; vivo includes iQOO
Vivo Rises to the Top Spot for the First time in Chinese Market
Vivo was one of the first smartphone brands in the market to launch 5G devices, with the Nex 3 5G and iQOO Pro 5G launched in August 2019 and September 2019, respectively. Vivo has expanded its 5G portfolio rapidly to account for more than 76% of its sales in February 2021, from a mere 0.5% in August 2019.
vivo’s clear product positioning has bored fruit for the company. Currently, vivo’s portfolio encompassesthe NEX, X, S, Y series, and sub-brand iQOO. The NEX and X series are vivo’s flagship series focused on camera capabilities while the S and U series are centered on good value for money. Y series is designed for budget customers while the iQOO is concentrated on online channels. In addition to that, vivo has been putting an extra effort into enhancing its camera capabilities through a strategic partnership with German optical expert Carl Zeiss.
Ever since Huawei started to struggle due to US restrictions on the company, other Chinese smartphone manufacturers have been eager to take advantage. Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Analyst Yang Wang said,
vivo and OPPO are adopting aggressive market and product strategies, and we expect to see the two brands continue to jostle for the top spot in 2021.