Smartphone Market Report in China for Q4 2023 and Full Year
IDC, one of the world’s leading market research firms, recently released the shipment data for the domestic smartphone market in the fourth quarter (Q4) and the entire year of 2023. According to the data, the shipment volume in the Chinese smartphone market was approximately 73.63 million units in Q4 2023, a 1.2% year-on-year increase. The annual shipment volume reached around 271 million units, marking a 5.0% decrease compared to the previous year and hitting the lowest level in nearly a decade. Although the overall market showed signs of recovery throughout the year, the performance still fell considerably short of expectations. In terms of specific brands, @Honor smartphones surpassed domestic brands such as OV and Xiaomi to secure the second position in both Q4 and the full year, becoming the top domestic brand.
Looking at the specific brand rankings for Q4 and the full year of 2023 as published by IDC, the top five in Q4 were Apple, Honor, Vivo, Huawei, and OPPO; for the entire year, the top five were Apple, Honor, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Although Apple faced significant competition in the high-end market in China and had limited product upgrades, resulting in decreased appeal, its extensive price reduction strategies in third-party channels continued to attract a significant number of consumers, driving sales and securing the first position in both Q4 and the full year of 2023.
As for domestic brands, Honor stood out the most among Chinese smartphone brands, ranking second in both Q4 and the full year of 2023 and leading the domestic Android smartphone market. According to IDC’s analysis, Honor’s market share significantly increased in the segment priced above $800 (5700 RMB) due to the outstanding performance of its foldable screen products. Additionally, IDC emphasized that focusing on the characteristics of offline consumer demand in the mid-range market was one of the key factors contributing to Honor’s strong performance. The successful product strategy and improved channel cooperation helped Honor secure the second position in total annual shipments within China.
In summary, Honor’s “four core highlights” in this IDC report for 2023 include ranking first in Android shipments in Q4 and for the full year, an increase in foldable screen market share, a strong offline presence, and securing the top position in total annual shipments. Furthermore, IDC highlighted the continued K-shaped differentiation trend in price segments within the Chinese smartphone market in 2023. While high-end consumers maintained their purchasing power, more mid-range users began upgrading to flagship products to extend their upgrade cycles. Creating premium 5G smartphones priced at around 1000 RMB, prioritizing aesthetics, and ensuring smooth usage for social networking, shopping, and short video applications will attract more offline consumers in the lower-end market segment. Guo Tianxiang, a senior analyst at IDC China, emphasized the need for cautious optimism regarding the market performance in 2024 despite the reemergence of growth trends in the Chinese smartphone market.