Apple achieved its highest-ever market share in China in the fourth quarter, when it was the top-selling vendor there for the first time in six years, research firm Counterpoint Research reported on Wednesday.
Apple’s smartphone market share reached 23 percent, a record for the brand. Its unit sales volume grew 32 percent year-on-year in the quarter, while total smartphone sales in China fell 9 percent, according to Counterpoint.
Counterpoint analyst Mengmeng Zhang cited a lower starting price in China and the impact of US sanctions against Huawei, Apple’s main competitor in the high-end segment, as factors.
Apple last ranked as China’s top-selling smartphone brand in late 2015, just after the company launched its iPhone 6, which attracted Chinese consumers with their large screens.
In 2021 as a whole, Apple ranked as China’s third best-selling smartphone brand with 16 percent of the market.
Year on year, Apple’s unit sales rose 47 percent while Huawei’s tumbled 68 percent. Overall smartphone sales in China fell 2 percent, according to Counterpoint.
Lengthening upgrade cycles have presented an ongoing dilemma for Chinese smartphone brands looking to maintain growth at home, as consumers delay purchasing new devices.
A global chip and component shortage has meanwhile rattled the entire electronics industry, affecting pricing and margins for all hardware makers.
© Thomson Reuters 2022