The last two years Chinese manufacturers consistently increase its share in the smartphone market. Unlike Apple, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo at a record pace increase sales of their products. What is the reason of success of Chinese brands?
According to IDC, the mobile market continues to grow only because of China. In the last quarter, Apple sold 51.6 per million smartphones, increasing sales by only 0.8 percent. Samsung’s sales for the year have not changed and are to 79.2 million units. Third, fourth and fifth places are occupied by three Chinese firms — Huawei from 34.2 million, 25.6 million with Oppo and Vivo with 18.1 million And if compared to the first quarter of last year, Samsung and Apple have shown a slight increase, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are developing intensively — 21.7%, 29.8% and 23,6% respectively.
Especially strong Chinese brands in the local market. In the last quarter Huawei here regained first place by implementing 20.8 million smartphones against 16.6 million a year earlier. Oppo took second place, having managed to sell 18.5 million devices, compared to 10.2 million last year. Closes the three leaders of the Vivo, which in the first quarter of 2016 could sell 11.3 million smartphones, a year later already sold 18.1 million Apple is only in fourth place, and its sales in China dropped from 12.5 to 10.7 million smartphones.
According to analysts, the success of Huawei, Oppo and Vivo is based on three elements: the desire to build a brand, aggressive marketing and a differentiated product line. But this is just the basic, unifying all three leaders, principles. If you look at each player individually, we can see some differences.
When a few years ago, Xiaomi rocketed to the top of the market, many people noted how smart those Chinese guys changed focus to Internet sales. Indeed, at that stage of development of the market, it was crucial to offer the most advanced smartphones at the lowest price, and refusal to work in retail played an important role in this. Today, Xiaomi was forced out of the top-5 of its competitors Oppo and Vivo, which are of the opposite approach. It is due to a developed retail business in the Chinese provincial cities they managed to achieve phenomenal sales growth. In large Metropolitan areas, these companies have focused on events that draw attention to the brand. Not to say that Oppo and Vivo refused Internet sales: cooperation with platform JD and participation in online sales helped them get sales and online.
Chinese brands focus on key technologies, typical of their product. For example, the Oppo in their advertising talks about what a wonderful and cheap smartphone, and specifically talks about the advantage of all its models — quick charge: “charge the smartphone for 5 minutes to speak 2 hours.” Huawei used the local messenger WeChat, which promoted the camera of the smartphone P9, emphasizing its advantages and the fact that it was created in collaboration with Leica. Concentrated, clear marketing campaign is beaten on a broad segment of the audience, laying in their memory the binding between a particular brand and technology.
The attraction of stars. It would seem, a well-known marketing ploy, but Chinese brands are rarely resorted to contracts with an eye on the local market. For example, Xiaomi actually a penny not spent on the stars who would represent the brand. But, where Xiaomi now, it is already clear, and the young and the restless Chinese Oppo and Vivo do not skimp on attraction popular among the young stars. Chain reaction launched Oppo invited a few stars to promote model R9. Competitors saw that it works, and decided to keep. Vivo, for example, attracted for marketing Korean star, popular among Chinese youth. Huawei announced the emergence of a private star party at the line of smartphones for the Chinese market. We can recall Ashton Kutcher and Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the face of Lenovo and ZTE.
And what is Apple? And nothing. Last year, the Cupertino-based company has high hopes for the launch in China iPhone available SE, but left out one small detail – 90% sold in China smartphones account for models with screens larger than 5 inches. The iPhone 7 was in many respects a failure: the implementation of the “Apple” of smartphones in China continues to decline for five consecutive quarters. Perhaps the Chinese will be interested in the iPhone 8 with a large screen and thin framework, but while the iPhone sales in China are rolling downhill.