After nearly 6 years, Apple has finally surpassed Vivo to become the no.1 smartphone brand in China. In Q4 2021, Apple also reached its highest ever market share in China at 23%, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Market Pulse Service.
China’s overall smartphone sales during the quarter, however, declined 2% QoQ and 9% YoY, respectively. The country’s full-year smartphone sales also continued the downward trend for the fourth consecutive year.
“The market in China continues to decline due to various factors in both the supply side and the demand side,” said Senior Analyst Ivan Lam.
The analyst credited the decline primarily to ongoing component shortages, which are impacting shipments of all smartphone manufacturers. He also noted that China’s average smartphone replacement cycle is becoming longer.
Commenting on Apple’s performance, Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang said, “Apple rose to first place in China right after the iPhone 13 was released in September. Afterwards, it remained in the leading position for most of the fourth quarter.
The new iPhone 13 has led the success due to a relatively lower starting price at its release in China, as well as the new camera and 5G feature.”
Vivo and OPPO took the second and third spots respectively, driven by their expansive product portfolio strategy.