Analysis of the Chinese Smartphone Market in 2023
In the past few years, despite an overall downturn in the mobile phone market, major manufacturers have continued to innovate. New technologies such as foldable screens, satellite communication, and AI-powered smartphones have spurred intense competition among manufacturers. According to recent data from major research platforms such as IDC, Counterpoint, and Canalys, the Chinese smartphone market in 2023 could be described as “one leader, many strong contenders.” Apple continues to hold the top position in China, with other domestic manufacturers following closely behind with a difference of less than 5%.
Apple has emerged as a remarkable player in the global smartphone market, defying the overall slump. In 2023, Apple surpassed Samsung to secure the top spot globally in smartphone shipments. The innovative designs of iPhone products, like the “Agile Island” style of the iPhone 14 series and the titanium material and 5X periscope telephoto lens of the iPhone 15 series, have continued to attract consumers despite some controversial specifications. Coupled with top-of-the-line A-series processors and the seamless iOS system, Apple has maintained a strong and loyal following.
Turning to the domestic market, the performance of other major manufacturers, excluding Apple, is also commendable. OPPO stands out as one of the most impressive performers, despite a slight decline in the overall domestic smartphone market in 2023. According to Canalys, OPPO secured a strong third position in the Chinese market with a shipment of 43.9 million units and a 16% market share.
OPPO’s success in 2023 can be attributed to its strong presence in the high-end market, particularly with its dual focus on straight-flagship and foldable-flagship smartphones. The release of the Find N3 Flip, a small foldable flagship, led OPPO to dominate the vertical folding product market with a 30% market share, while the Find N3 in the second half of the year contributed to a record market share in the $800+ segment. OPPO, despite entering the foldable screen market relatively late, achieved significant success, thanks to its dedicated research into foldable screen technology.
Take the OPPO Find N3 Flip, for example. With its top-notch design, compact foldable body, and impressive camera capabilities, it has received praise for its imaging experience.
In 2024, smartphones featuring integrated edge AI models have become a hot topic, and smartphones with AI capabilities have become a standard choice for users. In line with this trend, OPPO released the “Ultimate Flagship” Find X7 Ultra at the beginning of this year. Apart from being the first in the industry to feature a quad-camera dual periscope structure and Android’s first support for full-range 4K Dolby Vision HDR video recording, the Find X7 Ultra also incorporates OPPO’s independently developed Andes mega-model with 700 million parameters on the edge side, bringing practical AI functions such as OPPO AI Noise Cancelling, OPPO AI Call Summary, and the new “Xiaobu Assistant.” This flagship truly lives up to its name!
OPPO’s formidable technological innovations are a result of its long-term commitment to patented technologies. As of December 31, 2023, OPPO has filed patents in over 40 countries and regions, with a global patent application volume exceeding 98,000 and a global authorization quantity surpassing 54,000. Among these, the number of invention patent applications exceeds 89,000, accounting for 91% of all patent applications, placing OPPO at the forefront among global technology companies.
Therefore, it remains uncertain whether the Chinese smartphone market can maintain its “one leader, many strong contenders” status in the future. Perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, Chinese brands will stand proudly at the forefront of the global market!