Research firm Counterpoint Research reported on Wednesday that Apple achieved its biggest market share in China in the fourth quarter, when it was the top seller there for the first time in six years.
The milestone coincided with the release of the iPhone 13, and Huawei declined market share amid stagnant demand for the handset as the main competitor.
Apple’s smartphone market share reached 23 percent, a record for the brand. Its unit sales volume grew 32 percent year-on-year in the quarter, while overall smartphone sales in China fell 9 percent, according to counterpoint,
Counterpoint analyst Mengmeng Zhang cited lower starting prices in China and the impact of US sanctions against Huawei, Apple’s main competitor in the high-end segment.
Apple last ranked as China’s best-selling smartphone brand in late 2015, when the company launched its iPhone 6, which captivated Chinese consumers with its large screen.
In 2021 overall, Apple ranked as China’s third best-selling smartphone brand with 16 percent of the market.
Vivo and Oppo, the two Android handset brands under privately owned BBK Electronics, are at the first and second positions with 22 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
Year over year, Apple’s unit sales rose 47 percent, while Huawei’s declined 68 percent. According to Counterpoint, overall smartphone sales in China declined by 2 percent.
The prolonged upgrade cycle has presented an ongoing dilemma for Chinese smartphone brands to maintain growth at home, as consumers delay buying new devices.
A global chip and component shortage has meanwhile plagued the entire electronics industry, affecting pricing and margins for all hardware manufacturers.
© Thomson Reuters 2022