China’s smartphone market shipped 70 million units in Q3, a dip of 11 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, according to Canalys.
In a depressed market, Apple wtinessed remarkable growth of 36 percent to come in at fourth. This follows the launch and strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro series.
“However, lackluster demand of the iPhone 14 series sent a strong signal that even Apple is not completely isolated from weak Mainland China consumer demand. Under an onslaught of Android vendor competition, Apple had to concede to adopt aggressive promotions of its entry-level editions and previous generation devices, especially in the US$700-800 price band,” said Amber Liu, Analyst of Canalys.
vivo, Oppo (including OnePlus) and Honor continued to lead the market despite all falling in shipments.
“Amid this overall decline in the market, Chinese vendors want to break through in the high-end segment. “vivo is continuously investing in camera and imaging capabilities for its flagship X series, while Oppo is investing in building its cross-device ecosystem solution. To achieve sustainable growth in the high-end, profitability is the most important metric for both product planning and channel operations for vendors,” said Toby Zhu, Analyst of Canalys.
He expects the China China market to maintain flat or see a small growth in 2023 which is still a much lower level than 2021 or pre-pandemic as demand is not likely to improve until late next year.
“The coming Q4 performance will be driven by Apple with bulk shipments of new iPhones and the e-commerce shopping festival. Android vendors will push out new launches of high-end devices as well as foldable phones, although production planning should be much more cautious. Vendors have been suffering from rapidly declining demand and high inventory over the past quarters which has severely damaged confidence in the overall supply chain. Vendors must face market reality and put effort into optimizing operations and profitability while building relationships with their existing user base,” said Zhu.