Middle and High-End Smartphone Markets Ready for New Round of Competition


nielsenBeijing – July 29, 2016 – Smartphone usage by Chinese consumers continues to grow in 2016, according to the latest research from Nielsen Device Share (NDS). The Nielsen Device Share (NDS), in collaboration with TalkingData, can track total market, newly-activated market, brand and model share.  Demand for mid-range and high-end smartphones has surged recently, as the market share of smartphones priced over 2,000 RMB increased 4.38% since end of 2015.

However, performance varies among brands. During the first half year, Apple experienced some ups and downs, but the market share remains stable at 30.3%. For Android products, thanks to the popularity of R9, OPPO saw a market share increase of 2.22%, reaching a total of 7.8%. Owing to the great performance of X6, vivo increased 1.34% while Huawei increased 0.92% because of the popularity of Mate 8 and P9.

According to the NDS report, by the end of the second quarter in 2016, mid-range and high-end phones (those priced over 2,000 RMB) enjoyed a 47.59% market share with an increase of nearly 4.38%, the market share of Apple increased 0.06% while non IOS brands increased 4.32%. At the same time, the market share of phones priced below 1000 RMB continues to decline with a drop of 3.21%.

As this trend continues, manufacturers launched a series of mid-range and high-end smartphones in 2016, making the competition even fiercer. To provide insights of the performance of different brands, Nielsen will offer more analysis with a focus on phones priced over 2,000 RMB in the upcoming months.

Samsung Galaxy C5 Attract Attention as Smartphone Usage Continues to Rise

Among all the mid-range and high-end smartphones that entered the market in June, Samsung Galaxy C5 performed best. According to the report, the Galaxy achieved a first month activation rate of 2.55 out of 10,000, far exceeding the activation rates of the rest of the market in the same price range (90%). Such a good start is due to localized UI design and improved functionality such as red envelope reminders and the ability to turn off notifications during game play, which greatly improves the user experience. Samsung hopes to win back the Chinese market with its C series and its success is worth noting.

(NDS will release the activated market share of vivo X7, Huawei Honor8, Samsung C7 and other smartphones next month.)

IOS remains stable in market share, Android phones like Huawei, OPPO and vivo expanding market share

By the end of June, the market share of Apple was close to its market share at the end of Q4 in 2015; Stable at 30.3%. For Android products, Samsung and Xiaomi’s market share slightly decreased while Huawei became one of the top three brands with a market share of 11.6%. OPPO and vivo’s market share continue to grow and reached 7.8% and 7.0% respectively, catching up with Samsung.

Facts behind the 6.18 online shopping festival

Thanks to the 6.18 online shopping festival, many e-commerce platforms saw a significant sales increase that month. How did smartphone manufacturers perform during the festival? In order to answer that question, Nielsen ranked different brands’ sales increase from May to June and selected the top 10 smartphones within every price range. All the compared phones were launched after July, 2015.

“The data provided by Nielsen can accurately track and report smartphone manufacturers’ O2O performances during the shopping festival, as the data is generated from activated smartphones, excluding those in storage,” said James Gong, vice-president of Nielsen China.  [Expand quote]

According to the statistics from NDS, Meizu and Huawei performed well within the smartphones priced below 1000 RMB category, as Meilan Note3 and another models were among the top 10. Huawei had three phones on the top 10 list. Le 2 Pro was the dark horse of phones priced between 1000 RMB to 2000RMB. Besides Apple, OPPO, vivo and Huawei all performed well amongst smartphones priced over 2,000 RMB.

Generally speaking, consumers favored phones priced over 2,000 RMB, as the top 10 phones priced over 2,000 RMB saw an increase of 1.12%, outperforming the 0.32% increase of phones below 1000 RMB and 0.58% of phones between 1000 RMB to 2,000 RMB. This further exemplifies that consumptions are upgrading.

However, the sales increase in June is not much higher than that in previous months, though the 6.18 shopping festival took place in June. “The reason might be that online sales increase was realized at the price of offline sales decline,” said Gong.


Nielsen Device Share (NDS) can track smart devices’ total market, newly activated market, brand and model share to help companies understand brand, model and configuration trends. Additionally, Nielsen Device Share is able to monitor the structure of total market, measure the performance of new models, provide APP-using behavior and users’ profiles, analysis new activate market and brand potential energy, and also forecast sales volume of new models, which improve the market decision making of enterprise.

The NDS panel includes nearly 300 million smartphones and a robust methodology. WiThe results are precise, accurate and representative. .

NDS is updated on the 15th of each month, which allows speed and stability at the same time.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.


TalkingData is China’s largest, independent Big Data service platform that focuses on the mobile app marketplace since 2011. Members of the management team come from campanies like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu and 360 etc, thus the culture of Talkingdata is a mix of internet companies’ openness and traditional IT companies’ rigorous spirit. After four years of rapid development, TalkingData now has a complete service chain consisting developer service platform, data service platform and data commercialization platform, providing services for more than 100,000 apps and 80,000 developers, covering three billion independent devices.