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China Smartphone Sales Reverse 10-Quarter Decline, Register 6.6% Growth in Q4

Monday, February 5, 2024

China’s smartphone sales bottomed out in the fourth quarter (4Q 2023), increasing by 6.6% year-on-year (YoY) to mark the first quarterly YoY growth after 10 consecutive quarters of YoY declines, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Market Pulse Service.

Huawei’s comeback with its own 5G chipsets continued to attract consumers, while Xiaomi and HONOR sustained strong performance with double-digit growth.

Despite a 9.0% YoY drop, Apple retained its first position in 4Q with 20.2% market share, followed by Xiaomi (16%) and HONOR (15.2%).

However, from an annual perspective, China’s smartphone sales still declined 1.4% YoY, compared to a 13.9% YoY decline in 2022. Apple ranked first with 17.9% share, followed by vivo (16.9%) and OPPO (16.2%).

“There are several factors behind the YoY growth in 4Q 2023. The market was at a low point in 4Q 2022, making YoY comparisons more favorable. Besides, new Huawei phones powered by its own 5G chipsets drove the 4Q 2023 recovery to some extent,” said Associate Director Ethan Qi.

“Huawei’s Kirin chipset was the primary driver of the brand’s growth. Xiaomi and HONOR also adopted aggressive strategies, including for marketing and distribution, to boost sales. Xiaomi’s Mi 14 series, HONOR’s X50 series and the HONOR 100 contributed to their strong growth,” said Research Analyst Archie Zhang.

In 4Q 2023, Apple faced stiff competition from Huawei. Besides, the iPhone 15 series’ performance was lukewarm, something which was also indicated by the strong sales of the iPhone 14 series in 1H. It seems OPPO and vivo are yet to benefit from the market recovery so far.

Looking ahead to 2024, Counterpoint Research expects low single-digit YoY growth for China’s smartphone market, bringing it back to growth after five years. Huawei’s mid-end Nova 12 series with 5G Kirin chipsets, launched at the end of Q4 2023, is expected to continue bringing back loyal users.

Apple embraced price cuts in January to capitalize on the recovery and offset the pressure from local OEMs. Chinese OEMs are also expected to focus on generative AI, innovative form factors like foldables, and advanced imaging technologies to boost sales and expand their user bases.

By: DocMemory
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