Huawei’s China smartphone sales showed strong growth again in the third quarter as shoppers rushed to grab its popular Mate 60 series phones, helping the comeback kid of the industry close the market share gap on top brands such as Apple.
Research firm Counterpoint said Huawei recorded a 37% year-on-year increase in smartphone sales in the quarter thanks to the Mate 60 launch, while Canalys noted its market share had continued growing and was narrowing the gap with leading rivals.
The findings mark another notch on the comeback trail for Huawei, whose smartphone business was hard hit by US export controls imposed against the company since 2019.
Its Mate 60 Pro phone, in particular, grabbed global attention after its launch in August as it was found to be using a domestically made advanced chip that for analysts and users symbolised how the company had overcome US sanctions.
“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,” said Canalys analyst Lucas Zhong.
Counterpoint said its research found Huawei had grabbed the position of sixth-largest smartphone brand in China during the quarter with a share of 12.9%, up from 9.1% from the same period a year ago.
It also found that overall smartphone sales in China fell 3% in the quarter compared with the same period last year, extending a declining trend as the economy slows and cost-conscious consumers delay phone upgrades.
Canalys noted that the top five smartphone brands in China all experienced declining or flat sales compared to last year. Vivo had experienced the steepest drop at 26%, followed by Oppo with a 10% decrease, Apple with a 6% decline and Honor with a 1% dip. Xiaomi was flat year-over-year.
Honor took first place with shipments of 11.8 million units and an 18% market share, according to Canalys. Oppo and Apple tied for second place, both with 16% shares.
Apple maintained its high ranking partly thanks to the launch of its iPhone 15 series in China on September 22, it said.
Counterpoint said earlier this month that Huawei sold an estimated 1.6 million units of its Mate 60 series within the first six weeks of its launch.
Sales of Apple’s iPhone 15, however, underperformed early sales of the iPhone 14, Counterpoint also said.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara