The Evolution of Smartphones in 2024
The year 2024 has just started, and the smartphone market is already buzzing with good news. It’s certain that both the global and Chinese smartphone markets are undergoing significant changes. The comeback of the Huawei Mate60 series marks a turning point, leading to a massive “reshuffle” taking place!
Two pieces of good news recently emerged. Firstly, in December 2023, the total shipment volume in the Chinese mobile phone market reached 28.275 million units. Xiaomi’s new phone activations hit 2.84 million units, capturing a 16.5% market share, surpassing Apple and claiming the top spot in China. Secondly, according to IDC data, in 2023, Apple surpassed Samsung for the first time, becoming the world’s top smartphone brand in terms of shipments.
Evidently, the smartphone market is silently undergoing transformation. So, what signals are being released behind these two “firsts,” and what information is worth our attention?
On one hand, Apple surpassing Samsung for the first time indicates that Samsung’s dominant position is being challenged, gradually losing its leading status. It’s common knowledge that Huawei briefly overtook Samsung, reaching the global number one spot before facing restrictions. Huawei’s subsequent withdrawal from the top three was a consequence of being sanctioned by the U.S. For the past three to four years, Apple has been unable to surpass Samsung until 2023. This shows that Apple is now surpassing Samsung, with the main reason for Samsung’s failure directly related to its complete exit from the Chinese market.
On the other hand, Xiaomi seizing the top spot in China, surpassing Apple, also suggests that Apple is following Samsung’s “old path,” while domestic smartphone manufacturers are venturing into the high-end flagship market. Unlike the past focus on low-end phones to gain market share, Xiaomi in 2023 captured more market share with its Mi 14 series and Redmi K70 series by excelling in the mid-to-high-end segment.
Beyond Xiaomi, the return of the Huawei Mate60 series, the release of the Honor Magic6 series, and their impact on the high-end flagship phone market have made the less distinctive iPhone 15 series less appealing. Unlike foreign consumers who mainly have a choice between iPhones, in the domestic market, with the launch of the HarmonyOS native app program, local brands have found new roots in the ecosystem. Apple has lost its greatest advantage. It’s evident that Apple has lost its dominant position in the Chinese market!
Combining these aspects reveals that Apple surpassing Samsung to become the global leader might just be a “last hurrah.” If Apple continues to struggle and gradually loses the Chinese market, then Samsung’s current situation could be Apple’s future. Although there’s still a gap between domestic smartphones and Apple or Samsung devices, the proactive approach of domestic manufacturers in comparison to the “toothpaste squeezing” tactics of foreign brands is making consumers feel genuinely valued and providing a smartphone experience on par with foreign brands.
In conclusion, mainstream smartphone brands like Huawei and Xiaomi have set a good example, stabilizing their positions in the mid-to-low-end market while making strides into the high-end segment. This represents the current mainstream layout and strategy where domestic smartphone manufacturers, led by Xiaomi, have achieved a phased victory. It’s thanks to their focus on technological research and innovation to provide consumers with the ultimate user experience that they have managed to surpass the iPhone. Keep up the good work; the future looks bright for domestic smartphones!