BEIJING: The fast-moving Chinese smartphone market has seen Oppo and Vivo leapfrog Huawei and Xiaomi to become the country's leading smartphone brands in the third quarter, new data have shown.

According to figures from market research firm Counterpoint Technology, total Chinese mainland smartphone shipments in the third quarter amounted to 120m.

Shipments of Oppo smartphones were up 82% year on year, driving its market share from 9.9% in Q3 2015 to 16.6% in Q3 2016 and making it China's favourite phone brand.

Its flagship R9 smartphone was the top-selling individual model, although its lower A59 and A37 models also performed well in lower tier cities.

Vivo is close behind, however, with a 16.2% share, almost double the 8.2% it recorded a year ago; sales have surged ahead by 114% over the past 12 months.

Vivo has benefited from high-profile sponsorships deals with the National Basketball Association - the US sports league - as well as celebrity endorsements.

Both brands, the South China Morning post noted, are owned by BBK Electronics Corp, a privately held company based in Dongguan, which also owns a third smartphone brand in OnePlus.

Erstwhile market leader Huawei claimed a 15% share of the market in the third quarter, more or less the same as a year ago, while Xiaomi's share dropped from 14.6% to 10.6% as shipments declined 22% year on year.

Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint, said that Xiaomi had been "relegated to a player with the bulk of smartphones sold in the sub-US$200 segment".

The leading non-Chinese brand was Apple, with an 8.4% share. This was four percentage points down over the course of the year, although Shah expected that demand for its iPhone 7 model would help it regain some of its lost share.

The top ten list was rounded out by Samsung Electronics, LeEco, Meizu, Coolpad Group and ZTE.

Data sourced from South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff