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In China, good news for the iPhone, bad news for Android

Apple has once again become the largest smartphone brand in China, putting massive pressure on its Android rivals.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

The iPhone is once again number one in China, according to Counterpoint Research's Monthly Market Pulse Service, grabbing significant ground from its Android rivals.

Showing a growth of 46% month-over-month, Apple saw the highest growth among all major brands in China during October 2021.

The biggest casualty of Apple's growth has been Huawei, which has seen its sales share drop over the past two years. 

Counterpoint Research Monthly Market Pulse, October 2021

It seems that Huawei's fall from grace created a vacuum that Apple has been exploiting, especially the last couple of months.

See also: Huawei revenue continues downward trend, Q3 total smashed by one-third.

Some of this growth has been fueled by high demand for the new iPhone 13

"Due to supply issues, the normal wait time for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max ranges between four and five weeks in China," writes Counterpoint senior analyst Varun Mishra. "Some Chinese customers choose to pay premiums to get the new phones delivered immediately."

"Overall, the China market has been slow throughout the year and Apple's growth is a positive sign," adds Mishra. "It indicates that Chinese smartphone users are maturing fast and are looking to buy more high-end devices, which can be a good opportunity for brands. The supply chain is also prioritizing higher-end and higher-margin devices amid the shortages."

Globally, this doesn't change much. Samsung is still the biggest Android hitter, although there's data to suggest that Apple may have finally overtaken Samsung when it comes to worldwide market share.

Plenty of questions remain, both about supply issues and whether another Chinese brand can pick up where Huawei left off. But this is a clear sign that the iPhone 13 has been a hit in China, and that's a win Apple needed to keep things moving along. 

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