BEIJING, November 17 (TMTPost)— More signs showed China’s smartphone market is recovering, fueled by domestic vendors including Huawei and Xiaomi.
In the first four weeks of October, smartphone sales in China grew on average 11% year-over-year (YoY), according to the global market research firm Counterpoint Research. Whether on YoY or more short-term week-over-week (WoW) basis, the numbers are suggesting a recovery, and there’s some momentum building to be sure, observes Mengmeng Zhang, senior analyst for China at Counterpoint. The firm noted WoW figures heading into Singles’ Day sales period this month highlight stronger momentum than 2022.
As the standout brand in these four weeks, Huawei accounted for the bulk of net adds share over the period, according to Counerpoint. Huawei’s sales surged 83% YoY in October based on full-month preliminary figures, while Xiaomi and Honor posted the YoY increase of 33% and 10%, respectively, compared with a 12% decline of other key vendors. “The clear standout in October has been Huawei with its turnaround on the back of its Mate 60 series devices. Growth has been stellar with its new launch marketing and strong media coverage around its ‘Made in China’ chipset,” notes Counterpoint China analyst Archie Zhang. “Demand continues to be high double-digits and we’re also seeing a halo effect, with other models from the vendor performing well.”
Huawei has made a brilliant resurgence through its Mate 60 series, which has generated buzz among Chinese customers since the company surprisingly launched a presale for Mate 60 Pro priced at RMB6,999 (US$960) on August 29. Even though Huawei didn’t officially released the model, the low-profile presale turned out such a success that the first batch of the phone sold out within hours, igniting fervor for Huawei’s 5G comeback in China. While Huawei didn’t confirm whether the phone supports the 5G network, Chinese media outlets said online tests proved Mate 60 Pro can deliver the internet speed of 5G. Multiple reports attributed Mate 60’s 5G connectivity to Kirin 9000s chipset.
Data revealed last month showcased iPhone sales were hit by Huawei’s flagship. Counterpoint estimated Huawei has sold 1.6 million Mate 60 Pro handsets in six weeks, and more than 400,000 units out of the sales were sold in the two weeks when Apple launched its latest mobile iPhone 15 on mainland China. In the week ended October 8, or the 40th week of the year, Huawei took the first place with a 19.4% of market share by sales in China, according to BCI, a Chinese consulting firm focusing on research in the communications industry.
Xiaomi 14, the flagship launched late October, also acted as a main driver for the company. Xiaomi has sold a total of 1.4474 million units of 14 series devices in the first ten days after the model went on sale in China, namely, from October 13 to November 10, Chinese news media outlet Wall Street Insight cited data from the leading market research firm on Monday. The statistics suggested Xiaomi 14 refreshed the company’s sales record for the premium flagship since launch.
In the 44th week of this year, or the week ended November 5, Xiaomi took a 21.9% market share by sales and was ranked as the first in the market of Android system-powered smartphone in China. The data showed Xiaomi is also the only Chinese mobile vendor that delivered a positive growth that week, with a sequential increase in market share of 8.9 percentage points, followed by Huawei and Honor, which obtained share of 13% and 12.8%, respectively.
Smartphone sales in China were mainly driven by high double-digit growth in Android sales led by Huawei, Xiaomi and Honor devices, while Apple’s iPhone sales recorded a negative YoY growth since the iPhone 15 launched, resulting in Huawei’s dethroning as the market leader in China, according to a report from Jefferies analysts on October 16. The analysts expected weak demand in China would eventually lead to lower-than expected global shipments of iPhone 15 this year, and the iPhone will lose to Huawei next year.