The company said 5G smartphone sales now accounted for more than 15% of the total sales.
No numbers were provided by Counterpoint which said that the top five OEMs — Huawei, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi and Apple — accounted for 93% of sales, a rise of six percentage points year-on-year.
The top OEM, Huawei, was the only company to see a rise in market share during the coronavirus pandemic, with a share of about 40%.
"However, during the lockdown period in China, local e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and JD.com managed to sustain efficient business operations and delivery services in major Chinese cities outside Hubei province.
"[Due to] the strong support from these e-commerce players, China’s smartphone sales appeared less negative than our original expectation. We also estimate that the online share of smartphone sales in China surged to over 50% during Q1, from about 30% in 2019, though the share is likely to drop in Q2 after the pandemic is largely contained.”
Another analyst, Mengmeng Zheng, said the company had tracked the global 5G market and found that within six months after commercialisation of 5G in China, the penetration of 5G smartphone sales jumped to over 15% in Q1 2020.
"Sales units of 5G smartphones grew by nearly 120% QoQ. The dominance of Huawei in China’s 5G smartphone market was more evident — it contributed to over half of the total 5G phone sales in Q1, followed by vivo, OPPO, and Xiaomi.
"By Q1 2020, various vendors had launched sub-US$400 5G smartphones in China, such as vivo Z6 5G, Xiaomi K30 5G, realme X50 5G, and ZTE AXON 11 5G."
Zheng said given the aggressiveness of Chinese OEMs in growing the penetration of 5G phones to lower-tier price bands, "we expect 5G smartphones to rise to account for over 40% of total smartphone sales in China by the end of 2020".