China is one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets, and it’s also a highly competitive one. This year, for the first time, Oppo has managed to rise to the top of the smartphone market in China.

Counterpoint Research reports that Oppo boosted its share of the smartphone market in China to 21%, putting the company in first place in the country. That beats out Vivo, which captured 20% of the market, as well as Huawei, Apple, and Xiaomi, which each hold 16%. Oppo’s sales also jumped by 26% year-over-year.

Where does the sudden success come from? An analyst points to the repositioning of the Reno series and especially the performance of the Reno 5 series. Varun Mishra explains:

OPPO has been successfully able to reposition its product lines in 2020. The rebranding of the Reno series and launching a more capable device at a lower price point than its predecessor helped OPPO capture the affordable premium segment. The strong momentum of the A series in the mid segment strengthened the product portfolio for OPPO and it was able to cater to the 5G demand in China across a wide price band. This was further helped by the decline of Huawei.

Huawei was once the biggest player in the Chinese smartphone market, but its numbers have been on a steady decline since August of 2020 as the US Entity List ban put a squeeze on the company even in its home market. This is only be emphasized by Huawei’s troubles with launching 5G devices as components are hard to source. Apparently, over 65% of devices sold in China in Q4 2020 were 5G capable.

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Ben Schoon

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