Smartphone sales in China fell 14% year-on-year to 74.2 million units in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report released on Thursday by Counterpoint. The quarter’s volumes were close to the levels seen during the severe pandemic-hit Q1 2020.
Commenting on the Chinese smartphone market performance, Research Analyst Zhang Mengmeng said, “The smartphone market showed a declining weekly trend throughout Q1 2022, with only a small peak during the Chinese New Year holidays. We expect smartphone demand to continue to be underwhelming due to weak consumer sentiment and lack of new innovations to stimulate consumers.”
In terms of specific manufacturer rankings, vivo, OPPO, Apple, Honor, Xiaomi, Huawei and realme rank among the top seven.
Commenting on key vendors’ performance, Senior Research Analyst Ivan Lam said, “During the quarter, vivo regained its market-leading position from Apple (in Q4 2021) with a share of 20%. The newly launched mid-level S12 series, which focuses on self-portraits and features a lightweight and fashionable design, has seen positive feedback from the market, especially among younger customers. Vivo’s affordable Y series phones, such as the Y76s and Y31s, were also strong performers during the quarter.”
Although Apple’s sales declined from the previous quarter as momentum for the iPhone 13 series began to fade, the iPhone 13 remained the best-selling smartphone in China throughout the quarter.
Honor has seen a strong rebound with its market share jumping to 17% in Q1 2022 from 5% in Q1 2021. Owing to the popularity of its Honor 60, the brand was also the only major OEM that achieved both positive YoY and QoQ growth during the quarter, at 167% and 15%, respectively. Honor also launched its Magic 4 series globally in Q1 2022, furthering its signaling its global market ambitions.
Sales of Xiaomi devices declined YoY but outperformed the market with 12% QoQ growth in Q1 2022. Coupled with easing component shortages and strong sales performance of the flagship Redmi K40, Redmi Note 11 and entry-level Redmi-9A, Xiaomi recorded a relatively strong quarter. The launch of the Redmi 50 series and the Redmi 10A in March will further help Xiaomi solidify its position in the segment with a price tag less than $400.