With a successful iPhone 13 launch, Apple has become China’s top OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) brand with its highest ever 23% market share in Q4, 2021. The new market survey by Counterpoint Research reiterates that the tech giant has surpassed Vivo for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2015.
In November 2021, the research firm reported that Apple sales grew by 46% MoM which made the company become China’s largest smartphone brand after six years. And later it captured the biggest market share in Q4, 2021.
Apple’s market share grew in China in spite of declining smartphone sales in the country for the fourth consecutive quarter
Apple’s market share has grown at a time when China’s smartphone sales saw a 9% Y-o-Y decline for the third consecutive quarter in Q4, 2021 and a 2% Y-o-Y decline in full-year smartphone sales for the fourth consecutive year in 2021. According to the report, the Chinese smartphone market saw lower sales because of supply constraints impacting OEMs shipments, low demand, longer replacement cycle, and failure of OEMs to give consumers attractive products for upgrades.
In such a homogenous smartphone market, Apple delivered iPhone 13 series, an advanced 5G smartphone with a high-quality camera, at a lower price. In addition, the lack of competitive smartphone models by rival OEMs was also a contributing factor in Apple’s success. Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang explained that;
“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.”
The first 5G support iPhone 12 series was also a massive hit in China and with an improved camera system and longer battery, the iPhone 13 series has done even better. Ahead of the iPhone 13 series launch, the pre-orders for the smartphones crossed over 5 million within a few days and on the ‘Singles Day’ sales event, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com sold over $15 million worth of iPhones in just two seconds. The number illustrated the high demand for premium 5G smartphones with 5G in China.