According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 71.1 million smartphones were shipped in China in 3Q22, down 11.9% year-on-year (YoY). The decline was smaller than in the previous two quarters despite continued weak demand. The market saw its first quarter-on-quarter growth of 6.0% year-on-year, partly supported by the Apple 14 series and the Huawei Mate 50 series.
Fixing channel availability has been a focus of smartphone companies during the market downturn.
“The gloomy conditions and the bleak outlook for the COVID policy in China add more uncertainty to the market next year,” said Will Wong, Senior Research Manager for Consumer Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. Wong adds, “Retailers who can attract strong, high-end buyers stand a better chance in this challenging environment.”
Top 5 smartphone company highlights
• vivo returned to the top spot in 3Q22. The sub-brand, iQOO, achieved the highest market share of 4.6% with its competitive products and prices. The vivo X series continued to be well received and led the US$400-$600 mid-to-high-end segment.
• FameThe 70 series, the Changwan 30 series, and the Play 6 series continued to see good shipment momentum. The new X40 series has been well received for its attractive design and improved performance, while the flagship Magic 4 series has improved its position in the commercial segment, including the public sector.
• OPPOThe A57 and A97 models were volume drivers while its Reno 8 series played a key role in supporting the company’s position in the US$200-$400 segment. With the new generation of ColorOS and the Pantanal cross-platform smart system, OPPO is expected to improve the user experience in both hardware and software applications.
• an apple was the only retailer in the top 5 to experience growth from last year. The new iPhone 14 Pro series has been better received than the basic iPhone 14 models as the latter has limited upgrades. In addition, the iPhone 13 series still saw good demand in the quarter.
• XiaomiRedmi products continued to contribute significantly to shipments with the Redmi K50 series and the Redmi Note 11 series being the volume drivers. The new Mi 12S series has received good word of mouth, which also helps Xiaomi’s entry into the high-end segment.
Despite the decline in the overall market, the high-end >US$600 segment saw a moderate impact with a higher unit share of 22.4%. In addition, premium folding products, too, saw triple-digit YoY growth and shipped over a million units which was the highest ever shipment in a single quarter. Huawei continued to be the leader in the foldable market, followed by Samsung, vivo, and Xiaomi, supported by new foldable products.
“China’s smartphone market is unlikely to recover in the short term as it faces cases of COVID-19 and unfavorable domestic and global economic conditions,” said Arthur Guo, Senior Market Analyst for Client System Research at IDC China. Guo adds, “However, investment in product development is still important to strengthen market positions and prepare for the next recovery.”
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