China’s Smartphone Market Report for 2023 Q4: Apple Leads in Sales, Huawei Marks a Comeback
The well-known data company IDC has released the sales report for the Chinese smartphone market in 2023 and the fourth quarter, with Apple easily clinching the top spot in sales. However, there have been changes for domestic brands, as Huawei has finally made a comeback.
The report indicates that the Chinese smartphone market saw a rebound in sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, experiencing a slight growth of 1.2% after 10 consecutive quarters of decline, with a total shipment of 73.63 million units.
The top 5 in sales for the fourth quarter were Apple, Honor, vivo, Huawei, and vivo, a data that has surprised many netizens. After many years, Huawei has returned to the top five in domestic sales, with a shipment of as high as 10.3 million units, surpassing vivo to secure the fourth position. This fully demonstrates that the Huawei Mate60 series has driven the increase in sales of more models.
Huawei officially reinstated the Kirin chip and 5G network last year. However, the production capacity was still in the ramp-up phase, resulting in a long-term supply shortage of high-end phones, with only mid-to-low-end phones featuring the 4G Snapdragon chip. Despite this situation, Huawei’s image improvement and widespread recognition in the domestic market contributed to the increase in sales. With the continuous improvement in Huawei’s Kirin chip production capacity, it is expected that phones priced above 3000 yuan will fully adopt the Kirin chip in 2024, and Huawei will likely return to the top three in sales.
Now, let’s take a look at the annual sales rankings for the top five brands:
- Apple with a market share of 17.3% ranks first
- Honor with a market share of 17.1% ranks second
- OPPO with a market share of 16.7% ranks third
- vivo with a market share of 16.5% ranks fourth
- Xiaomi with a market share of 13.2% ranks fifth
By now, you may have noticed that despite Apple’s lackluster reputation in China last year, facing accusations of lack of innovation, and even a sharp decline in the iPhone 15 series, it still secured the top spot in domestic sales. This can only mean one thing: Apple’s performance in the Chinese market is deeply rooted. Even if one generation of products fails, there’s no need to worry about losing the love of Chinese consumers completely. There’s still ample room for improvement for domestic brands.
Honor has become the top-selling domestic brand, with a market share of 17.1%, trailing Apple by only 0.2 percentage points. Considering the margin of error, the gap between the two should be very close. Honor secured the sales crown in the foldable screen segment in the third quarter of last year, firmly establishing its position in the high-end flagship market priced between 8000 and 9000 yuan. At the same time, the Honor X50 series launched in the thousand-yuan price range also became a phenomenal bestseller, so it is reasonable for it to lead in sales.
It is expected that the domestic smartphone industry will see a major upheaval in 2024 when Huawei’s full-scale return is likely to disrupt the market. Once Huawei enters the top three, it means a reshuffle in the sales rankings. After three years of silence, the domestic smartphone market is once again brimming with new vitality. We look forward to Huawei’s return and hope that more manufacturers can launch heavyweight products to meet consumer demands. We hope that domestic brands have the strength to compete with Apple.
So, how do you view the domestic smartphone sales rankings for 2023? Does it align with your expectations?