BEIJING - Chinese mainland's smartphone market has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, with shipments increasing 27 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest report by technology market research firm Canalys.
Total shipments reached 92.4 million units during the period, said the report.
Huawei lost its crown to Vivo, which saw shipments rise 79 percent year on year to 21.6 million units. Oppo chased Vivo as a close runner-up, with 20.6 million shipments, Canalys said.
"The market has returned to prosperity this quarter," said Canalys research analyst Amber Liu. "Leading vendors are racing to the top of the market, and there was an unusually high number of smartphone launches this quarter compared with the first quarter of 2020 or even the fourth quarter of 2020."
"We expect 5G smartphones will become the de facto choice for the majority of Chinese consumers when they replace a device from this year," said the analyst.
China's smartphone market kicked off 2021 with strength, and the momentum is expected to continue as 5G penetration accelerates in the country, said the report.