Huawei’s China Smartphone Sales Surge in Q3 as Apple Lost Share

Huawei’s China smartphone sales surged in the third quarter of 2023, driven by the popularity of its Mate 60 series phones, according to reports from two leading research firms. This remarkable growth is contributing to narrowing the market share gap between Huawei and major competitors like Apple.
Huawei @ MWC Shanghai 2023Counterpoint’s research revealed that Huawei achieved an impressive 37 percent year-on-year increase in smartphone sales during the quarter, largely attributed to the launch of the Mate 60 series. Canalys, another prominent research firm, observed that Huawei’s market share continued to expand, further closing the distance between the company and its top-tier rivals.

This resurgence is a significant turnaround for Huawei, which has faced severe challenges in its smartphone business due to U.S. export controls implemented against the company in 2019. The Mate 60 Pro, in particular, garnered global attention following its August launch, as it utilized a domestically produced advanced chip. This development symbolized Huawei’s ability to overcome U.S. sanctions, as recognized by analysts and users alike.

Canalys analyst Lucas Zhong pointed out, “If Huawei’s new Kirin chips are expanded to mid-range and low-end product lines in the future, it will have the potential to further disrupt the competition among top brands in the market.”

Counterpoint’s research indicated that Huawei climbed to the position of the sixth-largest smartphone brand in China during the quarter, boasting a market share of 12.9 percent, up from 9.1 percent during the same period the previous year. However, it is important to note that overall smartphone sales in China experienced a 3 percent decline in the quarter compared to the previous year, reflecting an ongoing trend of reduced consumer spending on phones amid a slowing economy.
Major brands in China smartphone market Q3 2023Canalys highlighted that the top five smartphone brands in China all faced declining or stagnant sales in comparison to the previous year. Vivo saw the steepest decline at 26 percent, followed by Oppo with a 10 percent decrease, Apple with a 6 percent drop, and Honor with a 1 percent dip. Xiaomi was the only brand to maintain flat year-over-year sales.

Honor secured the top spot with shipments of 11.8 million units, claiming an 18 percent market share, according to Canalys. Oppo and Apple tied for second place, each holding a 16 percent market share. Apple’s solid performance in China was partially attributed to the launch of its iPhone 15 series on September 22.

Counterpoint’s earlier report indicated that Huawei managed to sell an estimated 1.6 million units of its Mate 60 series within the first six weeks of its launch. However, it was noted that sales of Apple’s iPhone 15 did not match the early sales performance of the iPhone 14, according to Counterpoint’s findings.