Apple’s iPhone sales make up half of China’s high-end smartphone market in second quarter, solidifying US firm’s lead
- Strong iPhone 13 sales helped Apple take up 46 per cent of China’s market for smartphones that cost more than US$400
- Vivo jumped to second place for the first time as rivals try to fill hole left by Huawei in wake of US sanctions
Strong iPhone 13 sales helped Apple take 46 per cent of China’s premium smartphone segment for the second quarter, according to a report from Counterpoint Research released on Wednesday. Its market share is up from 43 per cent in the same period last year.
“Both [Apple and Samsung] benefited from Huawei’s decline and the shift in purchase trends towards premium phones in China,” Counterpoint analyst Zhang Mengmeng said in the report.
Apple, which is expected to launch the iPhone 14 on September 7 in the US, has maintained a strong grip on China’s smartphone market amid challenges faced by local rivals. Most notably, Huawei has struggled to sell new models launched since coming under US sanctions in 2019.
This has left a gap in the market that domestic rivals have been competing to fill.
“Apple and Huawei have been competing for the first and second spots for a long time. But now other major Chinese [manufacturers] have started targeting the premium segment,” said Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam.
However, opportunities in the market are also declining. Premium smartphone sales in China fell 10 per cent year on year in the second quarter. The handset market as a whole fell 14 per cent, its steepest decline in nearly a decade.
China’s smartphone market has been battered by a slowing economy and disruptions in supply chains, which have been exacerbated by the country’s strict Covid-19 control policies. Some areas, including Shanghai and the surrounding regional manufacturing hub of the Yangtze River Delta, were under partial lockdowns in the second quarter in an effort to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.
“Lockdowns in key Chinese cities impacted premium segment sales because customers for this segment are mostly based in these cities,” Zhang said.