The trade war between the United States and China is not over. But this in no way prevents The US firm Apple from achieving success in the battle for the loyalty of Chinese users. Despite the production cuts, which were trumpeted by analysts, Apple is leading in sales of smartphones in China. Moreover, it has been able to maintain leadership for six weeks in a row. This is the conclusion reached by analysts at Counterpoint Research.
Apple is the leader in the Chinese smartphone market
After the announcement of the iPhone 13 series, sales of Apple devices have skyrocketed in the Chinese market. For several weeks, Apple has been rivaling Oppo and Vivo; consistently ranking among the top three mobile device sales in China. In week 47, the company became number one and has not given up for six weeks in a row. The success was made possible thanks to the strong demand for new devices in the iPhone 13 line; as well as the discounts that were offered on the iPhone 12 series.
If we talk in terms of the popularity of models of the iPhone 13 family, then most willingly, users bought the standard model. The iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro sold well, but the iPhone 13 mini was the underdog for which demand was very low.
Commenting on the outlook, Research Director Tom Kang said “Apple’s only true competitor in China till now was Huawei and it is now facing serious production issues due to the US sanctions. The company is likely to continue its high performance in China, until other competitors catch up in both brand and quality.”
Apple was the largest smartphone brand in China in October 2021
Apple surpassed Vivo in October 2021 to become the largest smartphone OEM in China for the first time since December 2015; according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Market Pulse Service. Driven by the iPhone 13 series, Apple’s sales grew 46% MoM, the highest among all major OEMs in the country. In comparison, China’s smartphone market grew only 2% MoM in October. Apple’s stellar show came at a time when many consumers were delaying their purchases; ahead of the Singles’ Day sales in November. Other key OEMs saw MoM declines in their October sales.
Commenting on the market growth in China, Research Director Tarun Pathak said, “Ever since Huawei’s decline, the top position in China has been changing hands. OPPO became #1 in January 2021 while vivo attained the top position in March 2021. The market dynamics in changed again in October with Apple becoming the new #1 OEM for the first since December 2015. This was driven by the success of the iPhone 13 series; which was also launched cheaper than the iPhone 12 series in China. Huawei has been resilient in the premium segment in China, but this seems to be changing now. Apple, with its strong brand equity, is gaining the maximum from the gap left by Huawei in the premium segment. Apple could have gained more if it were not for the shortages, especially for the Pro versions. But still, Apple is managing its supply chain better than other OEMs.