The iPhone took the top slot in China during Q4, with Apple achieving its highest ever share of the smartphone market in the country – led by the iPhone 13.

Apple was previously in 4th place in the market share stakes, behind Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo …

Counterpoint says that Apple hit 23% market share in Q4 2021, compared to just 16% in the same quarter a year earlier. For the year as a whole, Apple rose one slot from 4th to 3rd place.

Apple surpassed vivo in Q4 2021 to become the #1 brand in China after six years, when the iPhone 6 supercycle was at its peak. Q4 2021 also brought Apple its highest ever market share in China at 23%, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Market Pulse Service […]

Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang said, “Apple’s stellar performance was driven by a mix of its pricing strategy and gain from Huawei’s premium base. Apple rose to first place in China right after the iPhone 13 was released (week 39) 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 features. Furthermore, Huawei, Apple’s main competitor in the premium market, faced declining sales due to the ongoing US sanctions” […]

Apple’s success in the premium segment is an encouraging sign and will continue to motivate Chinese OEMs to strengthen their footprints in the segment. We expect the smartphone average selling price to continue to rise in China as leading OEMs put more effort into increasing it to counter the decline in sales.

The Chinese smartphone market as a whole, however, continued to shrink.

China’s smartphone sales in Q4 2021 declined 2% QoQ and 9% YoY, respectively. The country’s full-year smartphone sales also continued the downward trend for the fourth consecutive year, declining 2% YoY in 2021.

There are several reasons for this: the component shortage; slowing design changes leading to people holding onto their phones for longer; and a sluggish domestic economy in China.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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