International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its Q1 2016 Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report and it has some very interesting data it can vouch for. Chinese smartphone brand Vivo has broken into the top 5 smartphone brands in the world, which may come as a bit of a surprise to markets around the world but for those of us in India who have been following Vivo’s progress it doesn’t surprise us at all.
The IDC report indicates that Vivo has shipped 14.3 million units in the first quarter of 2016. This amounts to a staggering, almost, 124% increase year-over-year for the same quarter. This clearly indicates that Vivo’s success in the last year or so has little to do with chance and everything to do with brilliant planning and execution.
Here are some numbers that will put things in perspective:
- In Q1 2015 Vivo shipped 6.4 million smartphones, which means year-over-year they more than doubled their shipping capacity by adding another 7.9 million smartphones to the previous year’s total.
- In Q1 2015 Vivo had a total global market share of 1.9%.
- In Q1 2016 Vivo had a total global market share of 4.3%.
- The Average Selling Price (ASP) of Vivo smartphones is sub-US$250, which means that it is very strongly positioned to see an increase in revenue compared to other brands which offer phones with ASPs less than Vivo’s.
Vivo has made its case in the last 12 months as one of the best smartphone brands going around in the high-end segment. Having an ASP of sub-US$250 makes Vivo a worthy contender for a big jump in the worldwide top smartphone brands by revenue reports, whenever they see the light of the day.
One big reason why Vivo has seen such progress is the Indian market. Vivo was the title sponsor of India’s premier, and one of the world’s premier, sporting leagues – the Indian Premier League 2016 in cricket. What made this a big deal is that the IPL is the most watched event in India pretty much every year and by getting to call it “Vivo IPL 2016” Vivo made a huge impression on India’s impressionable youth.
Of course this was not the only reason why Vivo achieved great success in India last year. The company kept dishing out great product after great product to match its rivals in every department. Vivo products such as the Vivo Xplay5 Elite and the Vivo Xshot certainly helped create more buzz in the market and allowed other Vivo products to find customers.
While Vivo has certainly done spectacularly well in the last 12 months, its Chinese competitor Oppo isn’t one to be left behind. In fact Oppo is ahead of Vivo in the quarter gone by. Oppo went from shipping 7.3 million smartphones in Q1 2015 to shipping 18.5 million smartphones in Q1 2016. That’s a staggering increase of 153.2% year-over-year.
The Indian market has certainly played a role in helping Oppo reach those numbers but Oppo is still predominantly based out of China. While it does launch all of its flagship and ‘relevant’ phones in markets outside China, Oppo’s India focus hasn’t quite reached fever pitch as yet when inevitable comparisons to its Chinese counterparts are taken into consideration.
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Much like Vivo, Oppo’s ASPs are also sub-US$250. Therefore, it is equally well positioned to see a revenue surge in the near future. The two brands that have been knocked out of the top 5 list for now are two more Chinese brands. The legendary Lenovo and the popular Xiaomi have just been knocked out of the top 5 list by Oppo and Vivo but one can expect both of these brands to make a strong come back by the end of 2016.
No prizes for guessing the names of the top 3 smartphone brands in the world. Samsung continued its global dominance by holding a 24.5% market share on the back of 81.9 million smartphone shipments in Q1 2016. Apple Inc. retained the second spot with 15.3% market share on the back of 51.2 million smartphone shipments.
While those numbers look good, it is important to note that both Samsung and Apple suffered a decline in market share and shipments in the last 12 months. Samsung saw a relatively small change of -0.6% year-over-year, however, Apple saw a major change of -16.3% year-over-year, both for the same quarter. In Apple’s case, things may improve by the end of 2016 as the iconic company looks to launch the next iteration of the iPhone soon.
To give credit where credit is due, let’s just accept that if there’s one consistent performer in the global smartphone market today, it is Huawei. The Shenzhen based company is the leader among Chinese smartphone brands and it certainly seems to be leading by example.
Huawei shipped 27.5 million smartphones in Q1 2016 taking its market share to 8.2%. This was a 58.4% change year-over-year. Apart from Lenovo, Huawei is the only Chinese brand that consistently offers a large array of quality smartphones across all price segments so it is not surprising to see them do so well.