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Apple has managed to secure the top spot in China’s smartphone market, despite experiencing its weakest first quarter since 2014. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple increased sales by 6% year-over-year in a market that declined by 5%, resulting in a market share of 19.9%, the company’s highest first-quarter share since 2014. Apple navigated the market downturn by cutting the prices of the iPhone 14 series, while some e-commerce websites offered additional savings.
Apple’s success in China is not limited to the first quarter of 2023, as the company was the only one to grow its market share year-over-year in worldwide smartphone shipments, increasing to 21%. The company was second in the top five vendors with 58 million shipments.
Apple’s performance in China is impressive given the intense competition in the market. Trailing Apple in respective positions among the vendors are OPPO, vivo, Honor, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Realme. Huawei was the only other company to post growth in market share, with the Android manufacturer reaching 9.2% for the first quarter.
As the pressure of smartphone manufacturing costs starts to ease, smartphone manufacturers have more room to introduce better specifications in handsets. For example, analysts have seen companies offer bigger NAND and DRAM storage while keeping prices the same.
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Counterpoint Research believes the market will recover further in the second quarter. China’s GDP for the quarter increased by 4.5% year-over-year, beating expectations, and retail sales increased by 5.8%. This bodes well for smartphone manufacturers, who can expect to see increased demand for their products.