In a statement authored by senior analyst Varun Mishra, Counterpoint said OPPO's market share had touched 21% in January, with its sales growing 33% month-on-month and 26% year-on-year.
OPPO was followed by its stablemate vivo (20%) and Huawei, Apple and Xiaomi (all taking 16%), the company said. B.B.K. also owns the OnePlus brand, while it has a share in another fast-growing brand, realme.
Mishra commented: "OPPO has been successfully able to reposition its product lines in 2020. The rebranding of the Reno series and launching a more capable device at a lower price point than its predecessor helped OPPO capture the affordable premium segment.
Mishra said Huawei, along with its budget brand Honor — which was sold in November — had been steadily losing share in the Chinese market due to component shortages as a result of American sanctions.
He pointed out that Huawei's inventory for key components had been decreasing. The company was unable to source parts for 5G models and had reduced the number of launches, Mishra said, adding that more than 65% of devices being currently sold in China were 5G-capable.
"To make the most of its depleting inventory of components, Huawei has shifted its focus more towards the premium segment, only selling products with higher margins," the statement said. "This has further left a gap in the mid segment of the market.
"Due to insufficient supplies, the distributors in China are also scaling down their Huawei operations and shifting to other brands. OPPO’s growth was in part also driven by Huawei’s decline, a trend that also benefitted Xiaomi and vivo.
"Xiaomi is benefitting the most from the decline in Huawei’s online share, while OPPO and vivo have been capturing the offline segment. At its peak, Huawei had more than 10,000 retail and experience stores across China. This number has been decreasing since Q4 2020."
Mishra said OPPO's Reno 5 series — the Reno 5, Reno 5 Pro and Reno 5 Pro+ — had been its top performer since a rebranding exercise.
Apart from having a better camera, screen, chipset, charging standards and 5G capability, the price of the Reno 5 was also lower than that of its predecessor.