Apple has become the largest smartphone supplier in China for the first time since 2015 with a dominant figure in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In accordance with Study of counterpointthe company achieved a record market share of 23% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Its unit sales are up 32% year on year.
Apple’s hugely successful quarter is due to a number of factors. First, it coincides with Huawei’s ongoing struggle and exit from the premium market as the once-dominant home brand suffers from restrictive sanctions on Western technology and market access.
The Chinese smartphone market is also not as buoyant as it used to be, with a 9% drop in total smartphone sales.
Another important factor is that this surge in market share coincided with the launch of the iPhone 13 family, which was priced lower this time around for the Chinese market.
Finally, the global shortage of chips and components has made this year unusual in terms of supply and release strategy. While Apple is not immune to these tests, it has proven to be more resilient than most other smartphone makers.
In terms of the big picture, Apple ended 2021 as China’s third-largest smartphone vendor behind Vivo and Oppo. For the whole year it took 16% of the market.
These opposite states of Apple and Huawei are beautifully illustrated by the fact that Apple’s 2021 sales are up 47% while Huawei’s is down 68%.