Apple surpassed China-baed vivo in quarter four (Q4) of 2021 to become the #1 brand in China after six years, when the iPhone 6 supercycle was at its peak, according to a new report from Counterpoint Research.
The fourth quarter also brought Apple its highest ever market share in China at 23%, according to the research group’s Market Pulse Service. However, China’s smartphone sales in Q4 2021 declined 2% quarter-over-quarter and 9% year-over-year, respectively. The country’s full-year smartphone sales also continued the downward trend for the fourth consecutive year, declining 2% year-over-year in 2021.
Commenting on the overall Chinese smartphone market, Senior Analyst “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,”says Counterpoint Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang. “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 U.S. sanctions.”