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iPhone growth in China outstrips declining smartphone market by a large margin

Apple has seen significant iPhone growth in China in Q3

Market analysis shows the biggest smartphone vendors in China saw steep year-over-year declines in Q3 2022, while Apple's iPhone shipments grew by 36%.

The global market is in decline and analysts have been predicting difficult times for the smartphone market specifically. China is a huge market for Apple, and the company faces fierce competition from a variety of Android vendors.

According to a report from Canalys, Apple placed fourth overall among smartphone vendors in shipments for Q3 2022. However, Apple was the only company to see significant quarterly shipment growth.

Apple's market penetration in China is historically small relative to major Android vendors like Vivo and Oppo. However, Apple managed to close that gap in the weak Chinese market.

Apple increased its shipments by 36% from 8.3 million units in 2021 to 11.3 million units in 2022, keeping a fourth-place position in the market. However, the three vendors above Apple suffered significant losses placing the companies much closer in shipment totals.

The top vendor in China, Vivo, dropped from 18.3 million units to 14.1 million units, a 23% decline. Honor fell into third place with 12 million units shipped at a 16% decline.

Image source: Canalys
Image source: Canalys

The overall Chinese smartphone market fell by 11%, with a total of 70 million units shipped.

The iPhone 14 Pro lineup reportedly had strong demand during its launch quarter. The standard iPhone 14 models held less demand, and Chinese customers sought out lower-priced previous-generation models instead.

Apple is expected to drive Q4 performance with bulk shipments of new iPhones and the coming e-commerce shopping festival. Opposite them, Android vendors will have to plan cautiously to prevent growing high inventories from rapidly declining demand.