Eight of the top 10 smartphone vendors were hit by annual declines, with Gionee, Meizu and Samsung shrinking to less than half of their respective Q1 2017 numbers.
Huawei and its online brand Honor grew shipments by 2 percent to maintain its lead with 24 percent share by shipping over 21 million smartphones in China.
Oppo smartphone shipments fell about 10 percent to 18 million.
Vivo smartphone shipment dipped 10 percent to 15 million.
Xiaomi grew smartphone shipments by 37 percent to 12 million units.
Xiaomi overtook Apple to take fourth place in the China smartphone market.
Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, together accounted for more than 73 percent of shipments in China in Q1 2018.
“The level of competition has forced every vendor to imitate the others’ product portfolios and go-to-market strategies,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia. “But the costs of marketing and channel management in a country as big as China are huge, and only vendors that have reached a certain size can cope.”
While Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi must contend with a shrinking Chinese market, they can take comfort from the fact that it will continue to consolidate, and that their size will help them last longer than other smaller players.
The total market share for smartphone vendors outside the top five fell from 34 percent in Q1 2017 to 19 percent this quarter. Gionee suffered the worst decline, with shipments down by about 70 percent to 1.6 million.