In the smartphone market, there is no end to the volume

Even after many years, I still remember such a scene.

A friend in the overseas mobile phone market did not forget to say hello to me before taking out their company's new mobile phone: This mobile phone is for Eastern European consumers, and you should not evaluate it according to the requirements of Chinese consumers. The moment he took out his mobile phone, I saw the design and workmanship that were two years behind the domestic average.

His implication is that the domestic mobile phone market is too turbulent, and our small brand can't do it, so we can only go abroad.

This kind of scroll is like a Mobius scroll, with no starting point and no end in sight, even if it seems that the market is not good enough.

Falling into the specific sales data, according to a report released by IDC, domestic smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2021 fell by 11% year-on-year. This is still the case when the epidemic is gradually recovering.

The downward market has not changed the nature of the internal volume. In the past July and only half of August, we ushered in the new wave of mobile phones in the second half of the year: Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, Samsung, Realme and other manufacturers released Its latest model.

Huawei’s computational photography continues to lead. Xiaomi has produced the most mature under-screen camera phone. Honor is ready to strive for high-end. Samsung officially abandoned the Note series to push for folding screens. Realme has made significant improvements in workmanship and design…

The competition in the power of mobile phone products seems to have no end.

Radically changing market rankings

PC is a typical stable market. Stable until the product and the market environment change greatly, the eldest brother is still Lenovo, the second brother HP will always be so close, the third brother Dell has no desires, and the fourth brother Apple is independent and beautiful…

Traditional PC shipments in 2019 and 2020. Data from: IDC

Let’s take the market data released by IDC as a cross-section. In 2019, 2020, and now in the second quarter of 2021, Lenovo is firmly ranked No. 1 in the global PC market. The top five are Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Acer.

Traditional PC shipments in the second quarter of 2021. Data from: IDC

The mobile phone market is different. The ranking of shipments is changing drastically. Looking at the same time span, Huawei has a very strong position in China in 2019 and 2020, with shipments close to 40%.

China's smartphone shipments in 2019 and 2020. Data from: IDC

However, due to chip constraints, Huawei is shrinking, and this part of the market has flowed to several other companies. From the latest domestic smartphone shipment report for the second quarter of 2021, it can also be seen that the ranking of manufacturers has undergone a major change.

However, it should be noted that the market set aside after Huawei's contraction has not completely flowed to several other mobile phone manufacturers, including Apple.

When Huawei occupied nearly 40% of the share, Others' share was once as low as 6.5% , and small factories had no way out. By the second quarter of 2021, the market share of other categories reached 18.1% , and they were alive .

From the product point of view, most of the new phones released this year, such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo, are mid-to-high-end products, especially flagships. The competition for gears above 4,000 yuan is very fierce. The market did not become peaceful because of one less competitor. Instead, in the face of the vacant market, everyone worked harder.

At this time, I seem to hear iQOO yelling, this market throne, you can sit on Huawei, and my brother can sit too.

However, high-end flagships are not available overnight. In addition to the almost full experience of the bucket level, unique differences are required, which require first-class R&D and technical blessing.

If you turn to the world, you will find a new change-LG withdraws from the mobile phone market, and the market it sets aside will be diverted by other manufacturers, and Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo have become the norm to vigorously develop foreign markets.

In the IDC report for the second quarter of this year, Xiaomi surpassed Apple to become the world's second largest, and even surpassed Samsung in single-month shipments in June, ranking first in the single-month.

Millet, the world's number one in active service, only ranks third in the domestic market. It feels a bit like Chinese table tennis. It is easy to win the Olympic champion but difficult to win the National Games champion.

Global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2021. Data from: IDC

From the previous article, Xiaomi's popularity in the international market is due to its own product level meeting market opportunities. In markets such as India, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and other markets, the product level of China's leading mobile phone manufacturers is significantly higher than that of other competitors.

The market that was once not rolled up has become rolled up because of the arrival of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers. This feeling is still very similar to Chinese table tennis. Wherever the overflowing players go, the level of table tennis will skyrocket, and the health-preserving casual players will soon be unable to survive.

This is the capability of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers. Regardless of what kind of bulls he blew seven or eight years ago, he can achieve it for you. Yu Chengdong did it once, and now Lei Jun has done it.

You must know that Xiaomi even fell out of the top five in the past few years, but now it can surpass Apple, which just shows that the market still maintains a good vitality, the crowds compete, each shows their magical powers, and also retains a considerable degree of decency.

Especially when the supply of chips and other parts is tight, who can grab more markets in this situation, and then have more confidence to compete for the first place. After all, the first-class market position also means priority supply among suppliers. Form a positive cycle with more shipments.

Eventually, it may even break the status quo of Samsung and Apple occupying the high-end market and taking most of the profits of the mobile phone market . Huawei has done this once before.

In the final analysis, the vitality of this market is that the market is large enough and the competition is sufficient enough that no one dares to neglect. Whoever neglects the market, despise the product, and perfuse users, the final result is that the market is negligent.

Of course, as far as I know, smart phone practitioners are also quite complicated in various industries. Mobius rolls, no one can escape.

Domestic mobile phone manufacturers have more autonomy and faster iteration

Although the term "wintel alliance" is becoming rarer now, Microsoft and Intel still have strong control over the entire PC market. The core operating system and Soc are not under the control of PC manufacturers, and the innovations they can make are limited.

The mobile phone manufacturers are different. Google's domestic influence is average. Coupled with the open source feature of Android, domestic manufacturers such as Xiaomi and OPPO all use their own customized Android systems. Services like app stores in China are all mobile phones. Vendor operations.

Fierce competition has also prompted mobile phone manufacturers to iterate quickly, and they have even come to the front of Google. In 2016, Xiaomi released the original MIX and proposed a full-screen concept.

After the mobile phone industry has fully adopted a full-screen design, mobile phone manufacturers have also gone faster in system customization, and soon launched the corresponding touch interactive gestures, and Google did not add global gesture operations until Android 10 in 2019.

In an interview with the Android development team by foreign media 9To5Google, it was mentioned that the gestures of Android 10 were affected by other mobile phone manufacturers and were forced to accelerate the development.

This shows that this kind of inner roll can be extended from low to high.

As for chips, although mainstream mobile phone manufacturers are using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips, MediaTek, Samsung, and Huawei all have self-developed chips, and even Google's self-developed Tenor chips have also joined recently. They are not entirely exclusive.

Although Google and Qualcomm have a core position in the mobile phone market, their control is still inferior to the "wintel alliance". In order to obtain the newly emerging market vacancy, mobile phone manufacturers must naturally increase their investment in new technologies and even products, especially Domestic mobile phone manufacturers.

In the past two years, a breakthrough in a key component will cause mobile phone manufacturers to follow up. After Qualcomm QC fast charge in 2013, each company began to bet on fast charge and continued to follow up.

The realization path has become high-voltage low-current and low-voltage high-current, and the charging power is constantly improving. Now a flagship does not have a 60W fast charge, and I am embarrassed to say that it is a flagship, and 120W fast charging is becoming more common.

The same goes for high-swipe screens. At first, everyone was 60Hz, but after the 90Hz screen was used in OnePlus, other companies kept betting, and even 165Hz appeared.

▲ The Red Devils 6 Pro screen supports 165Hz refresh rate

Of course, because the software ecosystem does not support higher refresh rates very well, most mainstream flagships now choose 120Hz refresh rate.

Fast charging, high refresh rate, folding screens, and even the current under-screen cameras were not perfect at first, and as mobile phone manufacturers continue to iterate technology, they also subtly "educate" consumers.

Similar to the full competition in the market, the competition between smartphones is now quite sufficient, and it has penetrated into various segments. Consumers have also been educated that "everyone is a product manager." Large tracks such as images and screens, medium-sized The track is charged, and the subdivision track has a vibration motor and so on, all of which can fly.

It is difficult to say which is the cause and the effect between the vitality of the market and the vitality of the product, but it is true that consumers have lost their vitality.

Of course, there is another piece of information that cannot be seen from the market share. Although consumers buy mobile phones much less frequently, consumers spend more money on mobile phones. The market for smartphones The temptation is still great.

According to IDC's data compiled by the Foresight Industry Research Institute, the proportion of high-end mobile phone shipments in the Chinese smartphone market from 2019 to 2020 will continue to increase. In 2020, the proportion of mobile phone shipments above 500 US dollars (about 3237 yuan) will reach 23.9%.

In this process, mobile phone manufacturers continue to increase their market share and gain profits.

Mobile phone manufacturers are getting more and more volume, what are the benefits for you and me?

Having said so much, you may be wondering what use this is for ordinary people.

Comparing the PC market in previous years, the most obvious benefit is that you and I have more choices. Each has its own preference for lightness, photography, and battery life. People can also choose according to their own preference.

Turnip greens, all have love.

▲ Mi 11 ultra weighs 234g

Similarly, in the past few years, many people ridiculed the slow iteration of PC upgrades and the squeezing of toothpaste. This is rarely seen in the mobile phone market. In the past two years, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, and vivo have launched a number of flagships almost every year.

Two flagship models a year, equipped with different chips and innovative technologies, is a common occurrence. For example, the Mi 11 ultra will be more image-oriented, while Mi MIX 4 brings a more integrated appearance through the under-screen camera. design.

While getting more choices, it also brings better products.

If seven or eight years ago, it was possible to spend 2,000 yuan to buy a special offline IQ machine, or a foreign brand's high price and low allocation machine, now, with 2,000 yuan, it is almost impossible to buy the so-called IQ testing machine ( There are still one or two).

More importantly, the fierce competition among mobile phone manufacturers has also affected other fields. In the case of weak growth in the mobile phone market , almost all domestic mobile phone manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Huawei have begun to enter the fields of true wireless headsets, smart wearables and smart home products.

The successful experience in the mobile phone field has also been brought to other products. The telescopic camera was originally just an episode in the development of the full screen of mobile phones, but now it has become a common design for smart TVs.

The narrow bezel design that accompanied the emergence of full screens has also expanded from Dell to more manufacturers. Huawei is one of the earliest mobile phone manufacturers that used narrow bezel technology in notebook computers.

At the recent Xiaomi press conference, Xiaomi, which emphasized cost-effectiveness, further lowered the price of OLED TVs. The price of 77-inch OLED TVs was pulled below 20,000 yuan. The 55-inch Mi TV 6 at 4,999 yuan can be said to be a price butcher .

Xiaomi’s pursuit of cost-effectiveness has also indirectly affected other manufacturers. Many of the 5000 yuan notebooks are now equipped with 2K screens, and the color gamut has also been upgraded from 45% NTSC to 72% or even a wider 100% sRGB color gamut.

Going back to the beginning of the article, the manufacturers who were once used to high-quality low-price, improvised mobile phones for underdeveloped markets, became vulnerable when faced with domestic head phone manufacturers. This is how Xiaomi can stabilize the top two in the world. No. 1 next month; OPPO and vivo can sell well overseas; realme is growing at a very high speed; OnePlus faces the underlying logic of Apple and Samsung competition in several markets.

Giving consumers more choices is the value of competition, isn't it?

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