The Chinese smartphone market delivers its verdict for the third quarter of 2023. As in the rest of the world, sales are down (-3% year-on-year), and several manufacturers are in a bad way. This is particularly true of Apple, OPPO and vivo, according to figures from Counterpoint and IDC. The two firms don’t present exactly the same figures, but their reports agree on the general trend and the identity of China’s market leader.
HONOR back on top in its home country
HONOR’s return to the forefront is more than confirmed. The brand is positioning itself as the leader of the domestic smartphone market, outperforming its competitors. HONOR achieved a market share of 18.3% in the third quarter of 2023 according to Counterpoint, rising to 19.3% according to IDC. A fine progression for the manufacturer, which is more than holding its own, posting a 1.8% to 3% increase in sales year-on-year. The manufacturer reports having sold over 11.8 million smartphones, thanks in particular to the success of the HONOR X50 and HONOR 90.
In China, it is also benefiting from public interest in folding phones, with the recent launch of its Magic V2. “HONOR is back in first place after more than a year, thanks to its three new folding models, which strengthen its position in the high-end segment”, notes IDC.
When asked about this top position, HONOR France Managing Director Stephen Zou explains: “HONOR’s return to market leadership in China is proof of the extensive efforts made by our teams since the brand’s independence in 2021, to offer innovative, high-quality products with a strong identity”. He adds: “This success is also reflected abroad, where HONOR continues to establish itself as a key player in the smartphone market”.
Competitors struggling, except HUAWEI
Having been estranged from HUAWEI for almost three years, HONOR will be keen to confirm its good form at the end of the year. And it will have to keep an eye on an old acquaintance, namely HUAWEI. Far from the European market, the manufacturer posted the strongest growth in the third quarter (+37% according to Counterpoint) with the launch of its Mate 60 series. A great success for HUAWEI, which nevertheless remains far from the podium on the Chinese market.
Also according to Counterpoint, vivo (17.8%) and OPPO (16%) are on the podium without shining. The two brands are down by 13% and 14% respectively, as is Apple, which is moving away from the podium (14.2% market share, -10% year-on-year). The biggest fall came from realme (-23% year-on-year).
At IDC, OPPO comes second behind HONOR, also recording a significant drop (-10.5% year-on-year). Apple tries to hold on to third place (-4%), while vivo falls sharply (-25.7% year-on-year).
Note that both firms agree that Xiaomi is managing to hold its own (IDC) or to grow (+5% according to Counterpoint).