Apple drops to fifth place in China smartphone sales

Apple shipped 43.8 million units of iPhones throughout 2015, a year-on-year decrease of 18.2% as local smartphone makers dominated the market according to Canalys. The research group estimates that for the full year 2016, China reached 476.5 million unit shipments, growing year on year at 11.4%.

This swept away the annual growth rate of 1.9% in 2015. China shipments reached 131.6 million units in Q416, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipments.

Canalys research shows that, in 2016, Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipments, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units. 

"China and Hong Kong are still the hardest-hit areas in Apple's global top ten market. This directly led to a 7.0% decline in global shipments compared to 2015.,” says Canalys analyst Jessie Ding. “This year, the outlook remains bleak for Apple to get its China performance back to its heyday of 2015. As with consumers in other developed markets, China’s consumers are awaiting the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with very high expectations.”