New data shows that Apple’s iPhone 7 was the only foreign model to make it on China's list of top 10 best-selling handsets for 2017.
According to CNBC, data from Counterpoint Research shows that the iPhone 7 Plus accounted for 2.8 percent of all smartphone sales in China last year.
Counterpoint analyst James Yan explained that the iPhone 7 did well in the first half of 2017, and then got a boost in the second half due to a price cut in China. The iPhone 7 Plus also got a price reduction of around 16 percent, which helped Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter revenue in China to rise 12 percent year-on-year.
While the iPhone 7 Plus came in second in China for the year – behind the Oppo R9s, which gained 3 percent market share – the iPhone 7 was the fifth best-selling device in China, with a 2.4 percent market share.
"iPhone 7 Plus performed better than iPhone 7, demonstrating that currently in China, market price may not be the only concern among consumers," Yan said. "Apple users may value more on better specs ... than extra budget."
Vivo's X9 and the Oppo A57 rounded out the list of top five smartphones.
Companies engage in heavy competition for the top slot in China, the world’s largest smartphone market. Although Samsung used to dominate, the Chinese market is now controlled by local companies. Huawei made up 19.4 percent of the market share in the third quarter of 2017, followed by Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and then Apple, according to IDC data.
Huawei is now the third-biggest smartphone maker in the world by market share, while Oppo and Vivo both sell high-spec phones at a mid-tier price in China.
"Instead of filling the market with extensive selection of models (like Samsung), Oppo has comparatively offered [a] limited number of models and put more muscles behind promotion of key products," Yan said.