Apple Gains on Report it Sold Most Smartphones in China in Q4

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Apple Gains on Report it Sold Most Smartphones in China  in Q4

By Dhirendra Tripathi -- Apple stock (NASDAQ: AAPL ) rose 2.3% in Wednesday’s premarket trade following a report by Counterpoint Research that the company is now the biggest seller of smartphones in China, the world’s largest market for the devices.

Apple commanded a 23% share in China in the December quarter, its highest ever, the report said. The last time the iPhone-maker was the biggest vendor in the country in a quarter was during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Apple surpassed Vivo to be China’s top original equipment manufacturer. Realme was the fastest-growing brand. Four out of five smartphones sold in China in the three months to December were 5G capable.

According to Counterpoint, smartphone sales in China declined 9% year-on-year for the third consecutive quarter in December quarter. Full-year smartphone sales fell 2% for the fourth consecutive time with component shortages being one of the reasons behind decline.

Senior Analyst Ivan Lam also pointed out that China’s average smartphone replacement cycle is becoming longer.

“Smartphone designs within brands have also become more homogeneous, especially in hardware, failing to motivate consumers to upgrade. Lastly, China has been experiencing a complex economic environment where exports are driving the growth and domestic spending remains lackluster,” Lam said.

Leadership in the Chinese smartphone market has been changing rapidly with Oppo topping the charts in the first quarter of 2021 with the next two quarters going to Vivo, which was then toppled by Apple.  

On a full-year basis, Vivo’s 22% share was the highest in the Chinese market in 2021, followed by Oppo (21%), Apple (16%) and Xiaomi (OTC: XIACY ).

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