Smartphone sales on the Chinese mainland According to a Counterpoint Research report, China picked up steam in January after recording their fifth consecutive year of decline in 2022, sparking speculation about whether the stagnant market will finally bottom out and rise in 2023.
According to the report, average weekly smartphone sales reached 6.7 million units in January, up from 5.5 million in 2022. This represented a sequential increase of more than 40%, despite the fact that monthly sales in the world’s largest smartphone market were flat year on year.
According to Archie Zhang, a Counterpoint research analyst in Beijing, the “good start” was driven by the restoration of normal social activities in the country following a surge of Covid-19 infections in December.
“Elimination of major Covid-19 restrictions provides a bigger growth runway,” Zhang wrote in the report published on Wednesday. He added that the Lunar New Year season also started earlier than usual this year, “helping the weekly sales walk out of the trough at the beginning of 2023”.
In terms of market share, Apple remained China’s largest smartphone vendor in January.
According to preliminary Counterpoint data, Apple’s sales in January increased about 6% year on year due to strong demand for its iPhone 14 models. With a US$2.3 trillion valuation at the end of December, the world’s most valuable company surpassed smartphone sales in China in the fourth quarter of last year.
Still, the sales rebound last month does not reflect the cautious approach taken by China’s smartphone industry, which saw sales fall 14% year on year in 2022, the lowest level in a decade, according to Counterpoint.
Some market observers are cautiously optimistic about the pace of recovery in China’s smartphone market this year, with analysts at research firm IDC predicting full-year growth in 2024. According to IDC, domestic smartphone sales will fall below 300 million units for the first time in a decade, falling 13.2 percent year on year to 285.8 million in 2022.
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