iPhone Becomes China’s Top Selling Smartphone for First Time in Six Years

Data from market analyst firm Counterpoint Research shows that this quarter, thanks to the iPhone, Apple has become the top smartphone brand in China for the first time in six years.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, smartphone sales in the country slumped 9 percent year on year. This is the third consecutive quarter where a decline was recorded. Overall, the Chinese smartphone industry recorded a small 2 percent decline in sales in 2021, for the fourth consecutive year.

Counterpoint Research
China Smartphone Market Share Q4 2020 vs Q4 2021

Apple dethroned Vivo to become China’s top-selling smartphone brand. The research firm notes that the iPhone controlled 23 percent of the country’s market in Q4 2021. The company has never enjoyed such a high market share in China before. The success can be attributed to the iPhone 13 models that caused stampedes when it launched in China. The model offers 5G features and an improved camera at an attractive starting price. They were also the country’s highest-selling smartphone for six weeks straight.

Counterpoint Research analyst Mengmeng Zhang notes that Apple’s performance was driven by “a mix of its pricing strategy and gain from Huawei’s premium base.” “Huawei, Apple’s main competitor in the premium market, faced declining sales due to the ongoing U.S. sanctions,” he adds. Apple rose to first place immediately after the iPhone 13 debuted in September. He says the company maintained its lead through the fourth quarter of 2021.

The market analyst firm notes that Apple’s success with a high-end device will encourage local Chinese smartphone makers to create stronger portfolios in the segment. Do you think premium Chinese Android devices could rival the iPhone 13? Tell us in the comments!

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