Huawei Tops Smartphone Market While Apple Drops to Fifth Position

Canalys, an analytics company, has released its most recent report on China’s smartphone market for the first quarter of 2024, revealing Apple’s decline among the top five contenders vying for dominance in Asia’s largest economy.

Huawei reclaimed the top position after 13 quarters, securing a 17% market share. The domestic manufacturer shipped 11.7 million smartphones, driven by the popularity of its Mate and Nova series.

Meanwhile, OPPO ascended to second place, shipping 10.9 million units, fueled by the strong performance of its Reno 11 series. Conversely, HONOR, vivo, and Apple experienced a slowdown in their sales during the quarter, landing in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively.

HONOR shipped 10.6 million units, capturing a 16% share, marking a 9% year-on-year increase. On the other hand, Vivo shipped 10.3 million units, holding a 15% share, reflecting a 9% year-on-year decrease.

Huawei Tops Smartphone Market While Apple Drops to Fifth Position
Apple Store (Credits: Apple)

Apple witnessed the most significant decline among the top five, dropping from first to fifth place, with 10 million units and a 15% share, representing a 25% year-on-year decrease.

Huawei’s performance surged by 70% compared to the previous year when the company was undergoing restructuring due to U.S. sanctions.

Its 5G Mate 60 Pro, equipped with a China-made 7-nanometer processor tailored for the local market, underscores advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, which the U.S. sanctions aimed to impede.

Subsequently, Huawei launched its new Pure line of flagship smartphones and intensified efforts to develop its proprietary operating system, HarmonyOS, in response to restrictions on Google’s Android and Google Mobile Services.

The expanding HarmonyOS ecosystem disrupts the duopoly of Android and iOS in Mainland China.

The latest findings may not be reassuring for Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, especially following his recent visit to China for the inauguration of a significant new store in Shanghai.

Huawei Logo (Credits: Huawei)

Despite the momentum from a strong fourth quarter in China, Cook’s trip coincided with Apple’s announcement of expanding its R&D center in the city, underscoring China’s pivotal role in the company’s strategy.

Cook also participated in the China Development Forum in Beijing, emphasizing the country’s significance to Apple.

Despite bolstering its presence in China and expanding production in Southeast Asia and India, Apple faces a formidable challenge in reversing declining iPhone sales.

Approximately 17% of Apple’s net sales from October to December originated from the greater China region, positioning it as the largest regional contributor in the company’s supply chain.

Nonetheless, Apple confronts a 24% year-on-year decline in iPhone sales projected for 2023, with expectations of further deterioration in 2024.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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