(Yicai Global) Feb. 7 -- Apple Inc. [NASDAQ:AAPL] saw its first year-on-year decline in the Chinese market last year. The launch of the black iPhone did not create as much of a frenzy as the company's previous releases.
Handset maker Oppo Electronics Corp. overtook Huawei Technologies Ltd. and Apple to become the No. 1 seller in China's smartphone market last year, according to market intelligence firm International Data Corp. (IDC) figures. Huawei is still ahead of Oppo in the global market.
China's smartphone market grew 8.7 percent in 2016 from the prior year, higher than the 1.6 percent growth in 2015, data released by IDC yesterday shows. Guangdong-based Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp. shipped 78.4 million Oppo mobile phones last year, a 122.2 percent year-on-year increase. Its market share was 16.8 percent. The company led China in terms of both shipments and market share.
Huawei and Vivo Electronics Corp. ranked second and third, respectively. Annual shipments grew 21.8 percent year-on-year to 76.6 million units at Huawei and rose nearly 100 percent to 69.2 million units at Vivo.
By comparison, shipments fell 23.2 percent and 36 percent, respectively at Apple and Xiaomi Inc. Fashionable mobile phone companies, such as Oppo and Vivo, hired stars to endorse their brands by posting advertisements on variety shows to gain the attention of the younger audience, especially female users.
The Chinese smart phone market is one of the most competitive in the world. Different producers, including Xiaomi and Huawei, have held the market's No. 1 spot by annual shipments.