Almost every year, during the fourth quarter, Apple is the standout performer in the smartphone industry. This is typically because Apple rolls out its latest iPhone models on a mass scale. As the smartphone brand with the fiercest sales for a single model, other manufacturers’ offerings seem to stand little chance against these new iPhones—not only in sales but also in popularity. However, the smartphone market within China witnessed a slight change in the fourth quarter of 2023, where Xiaomi’s flagship models showed impressive performance.
After the launch of the Xiaomi 14 Series with the first-to-market Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, the hype around it was substantial. In contrast, the Apple iPhone 15 series seemed to lack the usual buzz, with its prices quickly falling below the launch figures. It appears that Chinese consumers’ adoration for Apple’s smartphones has somewhat diminished. Nevertheless, the latest market share figures for China’s smartphone market in Q4 2023 have been released, and according to this new data, although there’s been a reshuffle, Apple still remains at the top.
However, the new data also indicates that despite Apple maintaining the number one spot, its year-over-year market share growth is sliding, not performing as strongly as in previous years. The need to mention a reshuffle comes from the fact that historically vivo and OPPO occupied the second and third places, but this time Xiaomi has surged to second place. While it still trails Apple, its performance has greatly improved from before. Yet, the latest rankings reveal an even more surprising development; Huawei has emerged as the true dark horse.
Although Xiaomi’s market share substantially increased, Huawei’s saw an even more significant year-over-year rise of 79.3%. The number of activated devices isn’t far behind Xiaomi’s figures. Notably, even though Huawei had previously launched its impressive Mate 60 series in the third quarter at a high price point, many expected Huawei’s fourth-quarter performance to falter. Contrary to those predictions, Huawei managed to clinch the third spot in market share growth rate.
The facts underscore Huawei’s “return of the king” status. The Mate 60 series was just the beginning; despite its higher price, limiting its market share growth, Huawei has already started selling its new generation of Nova 12 series phones. The Huawei Nova 12 and Huawei Nova 12 Pro are highly competitive, not only featuring Huawei’s own Kirin 8000 processor for 5G speeds but also offering 100W supercharge capabilities, 50 million ultra-sensitive main camera, and a 60 million pixel front selfie camera. Moreover, the Huawei Nova 12 Pro even supports BeiDou satellite messaging.
The pricing of these two models is also relatively affordable. The Huawei Nova 12 starts at just 2999 yuan, and the Nova 12 Pro, with its standard 12GB+256GB configuration, is priced from 3999 yuan. Besides BeiDou satellite messaging, the Pro model also features a high-end curved screen and a 60 million pixel dual front camera. The entire series comes factory-fitted with the latest HarmonyOS 4.0. Given these attributes, it’s reasonable to expect the Huawei Nova 12 and Nova 12 Pro to perform exceptionally well in sales, and in 2024, it’s very likely that Huawei’s market share will rise once again.