In a notable turn of events, Apple Inc.’s iPhone secured the position of the top-selling smartphone series in China for the first time last year, showcasing a surprisingly robust performance despite fierce local competition and increasing government restrictions on the American company’s technology.
IPhone claimed the top spot in shipments for both the fourth quarter and the entirety of 2023
According to market tracker IDC, the iPhone claimed the top spot in shipments for both the fourth quarter and the entirety of 2023. This success contradicted predictions by various analysts, including Jefferies, who anticipated a decline in iPhone sales during the fourth quarter due to diminished enthusiasm for Cupertino, California’s latest generation hardware in the world’s largest smartphone market. IDC also acknowledged the growing competition from domestic players, such as the resurgent Huawei Technologies Co. However, Apple managed to mitigate the impact through well-timed discounts and promotions.
The IDC data revealed that Apple’s success in the fourth quarter was primarily attributed to declining less than its competitors. For the entire year, Apple experienced a modest 2.2% drop in 2023, outperforming local rivals like Honor Device Co. and Vivo, both of which suffered double-digit slumps. This accomplishment stood in contrast to the overall 5% decline in smartphone shipments.
The year marked the lowest volume of smartphones in China in a decade, a result of a soft economic recovery and weak consumer sentiment, according to IDC. Huawei, with its Mate 60 series, made a significant comeback, experiencing a 36% jump in shipments during the holiday quarter, propelling the company back into the top five smartphone makers in China.
IDC research analyst Arthur Gao commented on Apple’s achievement, stating, “Apple’s climb to the top spot in 2023, especially in light of renewed competition from Huawei and the soft spending sentiment, marks a tremendous success.” Gao attributed this success to Apple’s strategic use of timely price promotions in its third-party channels, effectively stimulating demand.