Type to search

Huawei Takes Another Bite Out of Apple’s Market Share in China

Huawei looks set to become the No-1 smartphone seller in China this year, backed by the launch of its new series of high-end phones

A woman looks at a new iPhone 15 Pro and a Huawei Mate 60 Pro as Apple's new iPhone 15 officially goes on sale across China, at an Apple store in Shanghai, China
A woman looks at a new iPhone 15 Pro and a Huawei Mate 60 Pro as Apple's new iPhone 15 officially goes on sale across China, at an Apple store in Shanghai, China. Photo: Reuters


A slew of new smartphone launches from Chinese technology giant Huawei weighed on Apple in the first quarter of the year, with the iPhone-maker seeing its worst performance in China since 2020.

Apple’s smartphone shipments in China tumbled 19% in the first quarter of the year, while Huawei saw sales jump 70%.

Effectively, Apple’s share in the world’s biggest smartphone market fell to 15.7% in the first quarter from 19.7% a year earlier, according to Hong Kong-based research firm Counterpoint.


Also on AF: Huawei’s China-Made 7nm Chip ‘Years Behind US’, Raimondo Says


Huawei’s market share, on the other hand, jumped to 15.5% from 9.3% a year earlier coming almost level with Apple.

Apple also lost its crown as the biggest smartphone seller in China to rival Vivo, sliding to third place in the quarter. Honor, a mass market brand spun out of Huawei, was in second place.

“Huawei’s comeback has directly impacted Apple in the premium segment. Besides, the replacement demand for Apple has been slightly subdued compared to previous years,” Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam said in a press release.

Apple struggled to drive sales in China despite offering rare discounts, including subsidising certain iPhone models by as much as 1,300 yuan ($180), throughout the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Huawei last week released its Pura 70 series of high-end phones after launching the Mate 60 series in August.

The Mate 60 was seen as a comeback for the Chinese firm in the high-end market and described as its triumph over US sanctions, with the handsets containing an advanced 7nm homegrown chip.

Buzz around the Mate 60 series’ abilities and patriotic fervour helped Huawei sell so many phones that it stemmed a 10-quarter-long downturn in China’s smartphone market.

Canadian research firm TechInsights expects overall shipments in China this year to top 50 million units, including 10 million for the Pura 70 series.

That would make Huawei the No-1 seller in China with a 19% market share, up from 12% in 2023.

For now, Counterpoint’s Lam says his firm is seeing slow but steady improvement in Apple’s weekly iPhone sales.

“For the second quarter, the possibility of new colour options combined with aggressive sales initiatives could bring [Apple] back into positive territory.”


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


Also read:

Huawei Profits Jump 144% in Fastest Growth Since US Sanctions

China Orders Apple to Cut WhatsApp, Threads from App Store

Apple Facing Rough Year in China

Year of Wins Propels Huawei From ‘Survival’ to $100bn Revenue

Apple Outshone by Huawei, Xiaomi on China’s Singles Day

China’s Ban on iPhone Use Expands to Local and State Entities

Huawei, SMIC Set to Defy US Sanctions With 5nm Chips: FT

Huawei’s HarmonyOS Set to Overtake Apple iOS in China – Fortune


Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


AF China Bond