Top domestic smartphone makers speed up releases
China's top three smartphone makers are accelerating product releases and expanding distribution in the wake of a double-digit first quarter sales slump in the domestic market.
In the first quarter, 74.4 million smartphones were sold in China, a 14.4 percent decrease from a year ago. Oppo, Honor and Vivo are the top three players in the domestic market, according to a report from CINNO Research.
Smartphones tend to be similar in design and functions, with limited photography and chip performance. The lack of revolutionary changes prolongs phone-replacement cycles. Meanwhile, the effect of the pandemic coupled with economic uncertainty have also hurt sales, CINNO said.
Vivo is releasing mainstream X80 models this week, with a self-developed graphic chip and optimized screen and camera. The models go on sale on Friday with a starting price of 3,699 yuan (US$569). Their release comes just two weeks after the debut of X Fold, Vivo's first foldable screen model.
In the past decade, Vivo has invested heavily on research in design, photography, system and function sectors.
OnePlus, now a division under Oppo, started sales of its new OnePlus Ace model today. With a starting price of 2,499 yuan, the model includes special chip and thermal-performance features for eSports fans.
OnePlus plans to open 5,000 experience centers in 2,800 cities and counties across China this year, an effort to enhance the brand's domestic distribution channel, said Li Jie, OnePlus China president.
Huawei will launch its next-generation foldable model on Thursday, while ZTE plans to release a new model next month.
The pandemic and lockdowns in cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen over the past couple months have affected production and logistics, and may bring additional short-term sales pressure, according to CINNO.