Apple’s iPhone Dethroned From Its Top Spot in China By Oppo R9

Despite all the regulatory hurdles that it periodically faces in China, Apple’s iPhone has remained the best selling smartphone in the country since 2012. That is no longer true now as Counterpoint Research notes that in 2016, Apple sold only 12 million units of the iPhone 6s in the country, behind the Oppo R9 which sold almost 17 million units.

The 12 million sales figure of the iPhone 6s allowed the handset to capture 4 percent of the Chinese market share, while Oppo’s R9 with its 17 million sales figure captured 4 percent of the market.

Smartphone shipments reached a staggering 465 million units in China, the highest ever for the country and an increase of over 6 percent from 2015. Apple, however, was unable to capitalise as its iPhone 6s failed to woo new customers. The company’s shipments in the country fell by 21 percent, while Oppo’s smartphones shipments grew by 109 percent.

The launch of the iPhone 7 in Q4 did help Apple regain some of its lost momentum, but Apple continues to remain in a “vulnerable position” in China as per Counterpoint Research.

“Apple with slowing traction for its flagship iPhone 6S during last year saw its double-digit negative growth being somewhat offset by relatively healthy demand for the newer flagship iPhone 7 series in Q4 2016,” the research said.

“However, Apple still remains in a vulnerable position and there is higher expectation already with the next year flagship which is rumored to be substantial upgrade from both design and components perspective.”

The report from the analyst firm notes that Chinese consumers are eagerly waiting for Apple’s next flagship, the iPhone 8, which will come with a brand new design and other key improvements. Compared to the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s did not have any enticing feature, and the same is largely true for Apple’s iPhone 7 which only offers some minor improvements.

[Via CNBC]