IDC Tracker: Apple Takes First Place in China Smartphone Market in 2023, Despite Overall Market Decline of 5.0%

BEIJING and NEEDHAM, Mass., January 25, 2024 – An exchange of power that occurred on the global stage also took place in China, the largest smartphone market worldwide. Apple became the premier smartphone company in China for the first time with an all-time high market share of 17.3% in 2023. According to initial data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, China smartphone shipments totaled 271.3 million units in 2023, representing a decrease of 5.0% compared to 2022. This was the lowest volume in ten years, resulting from a soft economic recovery and weak consumer sentiment.

Even though the Chinese smartphone market is still facing challenges, it is progressing towards recovery with the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q23) achieving year-over-year growth of 1.2% on shipments of 73.6 million units, marking the conclusion of ten continuous quarters of year-over-year decline. The steadfast high-end consumers in the tier 1-3 cities were the major contributors, driving the demand for flagship products. Meanwhile, the demand for low- to mid-range devices remained feeble, hindering the overall growth of the market as they account for over half the smartphone market in China.

“Apple’s ascent to the top spot in 2023, especially in the face of renewed competition from Huawei and the subdued spending sentiment, marks a tremendous triumph for Apple,” stated Arthur Guo, senior research analyst in Client System Research for IDC China. “Apple accomplished this thanks to timely price promotions in its secondary channels, which stimulated demand. Meanwhile, Honor retained its number 2 position due to enhancement in its channel partnerships and a comprehensive product strategy, seizing the high end with its successful foldable lineup and the low-to-mid range with several popular models.”

“One noteworthy highlight we shouldn’t overlook in 4Q23 was the return of Huawei to the Top 5 ranking after more than two years,” mentioned Will Wong, senior research manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “This will only escalate the competition as no vendors will want to forfeit a Top 5 position in the world’s largest smartphone market.”

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Companies, 2023 and 2022 Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth

Company

2023 Market Share

2022 Market Share

2023/2022 Growth

1. Apple

17.3%

16.8%

-2.2%

2. Honor

17.1%

18.1%

-10.3%

3. OPPO

16.7%

17.5%

-9.4%

4. vivo

16.5%

18.6%

-15.5%

5. Xiaomi

13.2%

13.6%

-8.5%

Others

19.1%

15.3%

+19.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

-5.0%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Q4 2023

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