The smartphone market has been in decline for some time now, and China is no exception. Canalys revealed the biggest smartphone market saw 5% fewer shipments (66.7 million) in Q3 2023, compared with the same three-month period last year (69.8 million). However things are finally start to look up as the shipments are higher than they were in Q2.
Honor managed to climb to the top of the market in Mainland China in a tight competition that saw a 2.7 million unit difference between the first and the fifth biggest vendor, Xiaomi.
Honor gained momentum in sales through the X50 series, which were presented as a durability improvement. Oppo (combined with OnePlus) remained second, while Apple got to third thanks to the launch of the new iPhone 15 series.
Q3 ’23 shipments
Q3 ’22 shipments
Analysts pointed out that Honor and Oppo are offering digital financial tools for distributors, while Xiaomi is allowing partners to buy Mi Stores, optimize resource allocation and even expand them.
Closer relations between vendors and retailers are the new big thing, especially after the demand downturn and inventory risks from 2022. Collaborations are now on all levels – from macro-level strategy to day-to-day operations, added Canalys Research Manager Amber Liu.
Expectations are for demand to increase gradually, after it bottomed out in Q2 2023. Companies will proactively expand product portfolios and accelerate upgrade frequency to “stimulate consumer upgrades and brand switches”, predicted Toby Zhu, Senior Analyst at Canalys.