Canalys: Huawei regains ground in China, but market drops to a new low

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Canalys posted a report on smartphone sales in China for the last quarter and the full calendar year of 2023. According to the analysis, companies shipped 5% fewer devices compared with 2022, which was already the worst year in a decade.

Canalys: Huawei regains traction in China as market drops to a new low

The Q4 period showed signs of recovery with only a 1% decline, or 73.9 million in total. Huawei was the “dark horse” as it emerged to fourth place and almost doubled its shipments compared to the same time last year.

Canalys: Huawei regains traction in China as market drops to a new low

The final quarter of the year, generally addressed as a holiday period in other regions, saw the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup, pushing Apple to the top for the first time. The demand for new iPhones was higher than last year, as the American company saw a 6% growth YoY.

The company managed to edge local competitors for the top position for the full 2023 year with a mild 1% increase. Vivo, Oppo, Honor, and Xiaomi all saw a decline in shipments, enabling Apple to open a gap at the top.










Q4 2023
shipments (million)
Q4 2023
Market share
Q4 2022
shipments (million)
Q4 2022
Market share
Change
Apple 17.5 24% 16.4 16% 6%
Honor 11.7 16% 12.2 17% -4%
vivo 11.3 15% 12.7 20% -11%
Huawei 10.4 14% 7.1 9% 47%
Xiaomi 9.5 13% 8.5 13% 12%
Others 13.5 18% 17.4 24% -22%
Total 73.9 100% 74.4 100% -1%

Huawei’s resurgence to the China Top 5 was mostly driven by the Mate 60 Pro arrival, powered by a domestically manufactured Kirin 9000S chipset.

Shipments were also boosted by “local consumer’s demand for software and hardware innovation”, even if the chip is built by SMIC on the five-year-old 7nm process technology and is clearly slower than its predecessor from 2020.










2023
shipments (million)
2023
Market share
2022
shipments (million)
2022
Market share
Change
Apple 51.8 19% 51.3 18% 1%
vivo 44.5 16% 52.2 18% -15%
Oppo 43.9 16% 50.4 18% -13%
Honor 43.6 16% 52.2 18% -17%
Xiaomi 35.6 13% 38.6 13% -8%
Others 53.2 20% 42.6 15% 25%
Total 272.5 100% 287.3 100% -5%

The smartphone market in 2024 is expected to enter a path of “moderate recovery”, predicted Amber Liu, Research Manager at Canalys. Huawei will intensify market competition as all companies are investing heavily in generative AI services, hardware, and infrastructure.

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