Apple tops China's Smartphone Market

According to recent report, Apple secured the largest portion of smartphone shipments in the Chinese market for the first time last year, despite facing intensified competition from local competitors.
Apple logo
Apple logoReuters

Canalys, an industry data provider, reported that Apple's market share in the world's second-largest economy reached 19 percent.

The strong performance of Apple in China during the past year followed a decline in sales in 2022, attributed to reduced production in factories due to the country's zero-Covid policy.

This success also occurred amidst a growing challenge from Beijing as competition escalates between the United States and China in the technology sector.

Media reports in the previous year suggested that certain Chinese government agencies instructed employees not to use iPhones for work due to concerns about data security.

In September, the foreign ministry denied the existence of a ban but acknowledged that reports had exposed "security incidents relating to Apple mobile phones."

During a visit to Beijing in March, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized the "symbiotic" relationship his company maintains with China.

In terms of annual smartphone shipment market shares in China last year, Apple led with 19 percent, followed by three local manufacturers—Vivo, Oppo, and Honor—all with 16 percent each.

Huawei, a Shenzhen-based tech giant that faced tough sanctions from Washington in the past, experienced a resurgence last year. The U.S. had previously warned that Huawei's equipment could be utilized by Beijing for espionage.

“Huawei has become the biggest dark horse (in the 4th quarter), returning to the top five league table of Mainland China’s smartphone market after 10 quarters,” said Lucas Zhong, a research analyst at Canalys.

In August, Huawei released its Mate 60 Pro handset, powered by an advanced domestically produced chip, during a visit to Beijing by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The new product sparked debate about whether attempts by Washington to curb China’s technological advancements have been effective.

Huawei notched 47 percent annual growth in fourth-quarter smartphone shipments last year, Canalys said, compared to growth of just six percent for Apple.

Fourth-quarter shipments for Honor were down four percent on-year, while those for Vivo fell 11 percent, the report showed.

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