Apple China
Apple is expected to outrace Oppo and Vivo in China in the fourth quarter of this year. Getty Images/VCG

It appears Apple will likely outrank Oppo and Vivo in China’s smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Cupertino giant is now expected to take third place in the second-largest market in the world.

Digitimes Research claimed early this week that Tim Cook’s company is on track to outrace both Oppo and Vivo in China by the final quarter of this year. Apple’s performance is believed to be boosted by the availability of the iPhone XR and the older-generation iPhones that are being sold at lower prices than before.

The latest prediction is very positive for Apple, who ranked fifth place in China in the fourth quarter of 2017. It can be noted that Apple managed to ship 14.8 million units to China last year and that accounted for 12.9 percent of market share, as per China Daily.

Huawei reigned supreme in 2017’s fourth quarter after shipping 24.3 million units or 21.3 percent of market share. Oppo and Vivo placed second and third for shipping 20 million units (17.5 percent) and 18.9 million units (16.5 percent), respectively. Meanwhile, Xiaomi snagged the fourth spot with 15.9 million shipments or 13.9 percent of market share.

In the third quarter of this year, only Huawei and Xiaomi posted shipment gains. Oppo and Vivo both experienced shipment reductions. During the period, the two companies saw their shipments decline by double-digit rates — a precedent to Apple’s probable takeover of the third spot in China’s smartphone market.

It should be noted that Apple dropped a bombshell earlier this year when it revealed that last year’s iPhone X was the biggest selling smartphone in China in the first three months of 2018. In May, Apple proudly posted 21 percent revenue growth in the Greater China region for the fiscal second quarter, according to MarketWatch.

“The iPhone obviously had to do extremely well to get a 21 [percent] number,” Cook said during the company’s earnings call at the time. The CEO then added that it was the iPhone X that emerged to be the top-selling phone in China. The same sentiment was echoed by research firm Strategy Analytics in a separate report saying, “[The] ultra-premium iPhone X is proving relatively popular in some markets like China.”