Apple takes top spot in China smartphone sales for first time since 2015

Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up
Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new report says Apple has taken the top spot in China's smartphone sales.
  • It surpassed vivo to become the number one vendor with a 23% market share, it's highest ever.
  • Counterpoint Research says this was driven by its pricing strategy and some gain from Huawei.

New insight into China claims that Apple has risen to the number one position in China smartphone sales for the first time since 2015

From Counterpoint:

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. However, 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.

In the same quarter in 2020 Apple only took a 16% market share behind vivo, Oppo, and Huawei, but grew 32% year on year and 79% on Q3 of 2021 to take the top spot this time around.

Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang described the performance as "stellar" and said it was driven by Apple's pricing strategy and the lower price point of Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 13, as well as big gains from Huawei. Along with the price, a new camera and 5G were reportedly a big pull amongst customers.

The news comes just one day ahead of Apple's December quarter earnings call, where the company is expected to announce some pretty big numbers for revenue and sales. A consensus of analysts estimates that Apple may be on track to announce a record-breaking high in revenue.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9