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Apple Falls From First Place to Fifth Place in Chinese Smartphone Market

Apple Falls From First Place to Fifth Place in Chinese Smartphone Market

Analytics company Canalys has released its latest report on China’s smartphone market for the first quarter of 2024, and the quarter was not a good one for Apple’s iPhone, as it dropped to fifth place in the Chinese smartphone market.

Huawei returned to the top spot for the first time in 13 quarters, taking a 17% market share, as it shipped 11.7 million smartphones during the quarter, thanks to its popular Mate and nova series. OPPO took second place, with 10.9 million units, thanks to strong sales of its Reno 11 series. HONOR, vivo, and Apple filled out the top five, ranking third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

HONOR shipped 10.6 million units with a 16% share, for a year-on-year increase of 9%, while vivo shipped 10.3 million units with a 15% share, a year-on-year decrease of 9%. Apple’s share of the market declined the most among the top five, sinking to fifth from first place, with 10 million units and a 15% share, which is a year-on-year decrease of 25%.

Huawei’s shipments increased 70% from a year earlier when the company was still reorganizing its phone business following U.S. sanctions.

Huawei has since released its new Pure line of flagship smartphones, and has developed its own operating system, HarmonyOS, once it was banned from using Google’s Android and Google Mobile Services.

Canalys Senior Analyst Toby Zhu commented, “The mainland China market’s growth is still behind the global recovery of 11%, which allowed Huawei to seize market share and reclaim the crown quickly. The production and supply shortage of the Mate 60 series improved in the first quarter, propelling it to become the key driver of Huawei’s overall growth. In addition to the high-end lineup, Huawei released the nova 12 series in December, which features Harmony 4.0, expanding the Kirin chipset to more product lines and successfully boosting performance in the mid-range price band. This month Huawei also upgraded the P series to Pura 70, featuring an innovative pop-out camera lens, further sparking market interest. A key strategy for Huawei in 2024 is to focus on building AI capabilities for smart devices from hardware to software at a system level, leveraging its deep R&D capabilities in AI infrastructure and solutions for industry and enterprise customers. With the continued expansion of the HarmonyOS ecosystem, Huawei emerges as the third OS for smartphones and other edge computing devices, breaking the two-horse race of Android and iOS in Mainland China.”

Apple continues to deepen its ties with China, even as it increases production in other regions, including Southeast Asia and India. Close to 17% of Apple’s net sales during the calendar fourth quarter of 2023 were from China.