China smartphone market Q2 2020

Shanghai (China), Bengaluru (India), Singapore, Reading (UK) and Portland (US) – Friday, 31 July 2020

Huawei and Apple stay strong in China as the smartphone market rebounds in Q2 2020

The smartphone market in Mainland China posted 25% quarter-on-quarter growth to reach over 90 million sell-in units in Q2 2020, despite the market contracting 7% compared to Q2 2019. China’s smartphone market is on track for recovery amid a sharp rebound of economic activity. Huawei led its home market, shipping 40.2 million units in Q2 2020, and extending its market share to a whopping 44%. Vivo and Oppo maintained second and third place, growing 23% and 16% sequentially. Xiaomi, in fourth place, shipped 9.3 million units with 21% quarter on quarter growth. Apple shipped 7.7 million iPhones, posting the fastest growth among the top five, at 25% sequentially and 35% annually, driven by rising online sales and its lower priced portfolio.  

“A mature e-commerce channel in China is critical to the Chinese smartphone market recovery.” said Jason Low, Senior Analyst at Canalys. “Thanks to the significant marketing push and sales incentives offered by major e-commerce players like Alibaba, and Pinduoduo during the quarter, smartphone vendors saw stronger than expected Q2 results, despite offline traffic being weak. Premium brands like Huawei and Apple keep investing online and are benefiting from the soaring appetite for online shopping.”

“The launch of the low-cost new iPhone SE right after the Chinese market reopened in April created a real buzz, with promotions around installment plans and trade-in offers.” Low added. “Lower price points work exceptionally well with online channels, where e-retailers can couple a device with a wide range of payment options and bundling offers. Sales subsidies, in this case, are highly effective too. The level of collaboration between Apple and e-commerce players is new, the results of which are welcomed by consumers.”

“5G smartphones are thriving with 39 million units shipped in China in Q2 2020, up 260% from Q1,” said Louis Liu, Research Analyst. “The local brands are driving 5G penetration within their portfolio to support operator efforts to transition existing 4G users to 5G, which have already surpassed 100 million subscribers in July. Huawei is aiming to be the go-to 5G brand in China. Its 5G portfolio exceeded 60% of its total shipments in Q2. Meanwhile, close to a third of the shipments of competitors, such as Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi, are already 5G enabled. Few new 4G models will appear in any major vendors’ second half roadmap this year. 5G adoption will therefore accelerate as consumers will have fewer 4G options when they replace their smartphones.”

Canalys forecasts China's smartphone shipments to reach 325 million in 2020. “Although there is a small domestic resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, overall business activities and economic recovery are unlikely to reverse,” added Low. “Consumer demand for smartphones is likely to improve gradually, with growth uncertainties persisting. Chinese vendors are keen to rapidly capitalize on China's recovery to offset their losses in other major markets, where the negative impact of coronavirus may be more prolonged.”

For more information, please contact:

Canalys China
Jason Low: +86 159 2128 2971
Louis Liu: +86 136 2177 7745

Canalys India
Rushabh Doshi: +91 99728 54174
Adwait Mardikar: +91 96651 38668

Canalys Singapore
Shengtao Jin: +65 6657 9303
Matthew Xie: +65 8319 8343

Canalys UK
Ben Stanton: +44 7824 114 350
Mo Jia: +33 785 683 766

Canalys USA
Marcy Ryan: +1 650 862 4299
Vincent Thielke: +1 650 644 9970 

About Canalys

Canalys is an independent analyst company that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology and our high level of customer service.

Receiving updates

To receive media alerts directly, or for more information about our events, services or custom research and consulting capabilities, please contact us. Alternatively, you can email


Please click here to unsubscribe


Copyright © Canalys 2020. All rights reserved.



For more information:


PDF download

 China smartphone market Q2 2020


Share this article