Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has overtaken Oppo as the number one smartphone seller in China for Q1 2017, research firm IDC has revealed.
Of the total 103.1 million smartphones shipped to China during the first quarter, Huawei's shipment volume reached 20.8 million units, a year-over-year increase of 25.5 percent, according to IDC's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Oppo's shipment volume, which reached 18.9 million units for Q1 2017, showed a year-over-year increase of 19.5 percent.
While Oppo led China's market share in Q4 2016 with 18.1 percent over Huawei's 16.8 percent, Huawei surged ahead in Q1 2017 with a 20 percent share, compared with Oppo's 18.2 percent.
Vivo placed third in Chinese market share for the first quarter, with a 14.1 percent market share. Apple came fourth, with 9.2 percent market share, closely followed by Xiaomi, at 9 percent.
Huawei was helped by the launch of its P10 and P10 Plus smartphones, as well as its Honor V9 and "strong momentum for the Honor brand", according to IDC. Huawei's Honor 8 and Oppo's R9s were also helped by the strength of their photo capabilities, battery capacity, and celebrity endorsements, IDC said.
While the first quarter was relatively soft in terms of product launches, IDC expects second quarter sales to be driven by the launch of handsets such as Vivo's Y53, Xiaomi's Mi6, and Meizu's E2.
Apple's sales amounted to a year-over-year decline of 26.7 percent, according to IDC. However, while Apple has seen double-digit year-over-year declines in China for the fifth quarter in a row, the upcoming 10th-anniversary iPhone should help the Cupertino-based giant experience a rebound in the Chinese market, according to IDC senior market analyst Tay Xiaohan.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he remains enthusiastic about business opportunity in the country, despite Apple's Greater China sales continuing to slip.
In the company's quarterly revenue of $52.9 billion, up from $50.6 billion for the same period a year earlier, China was its only key market that registered revenue decline during the period.
In the company's earning call, Cook blamed unfavourable exchange rates and falling sales in the Hong Kong market, which attracted fewer Chinese visitors to purchase Apple products during the period.
Despite this, Cook said he expects sales performance in China to improve in the current quarter.
In terms of global shipments, Samsung regained the title of "world's largest smartphone vendor" in Q1 2017 with 79.2 million units shipped, according to IDC.
Worldwide smartphone shipments grew by 4.3 percent in Q1 2017, the firm added.
Correction 1:35pm AEST May 8, 2017: Apple's sales, rather than market share, amounted to a year-over-year decline of 26.7 percent.