Apple reached its highest ever monthly market share (25%) in China in October 2022, while becoming the number one original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the country for the second consecutive month, according to Counterpoint Research’s “Monthly Market Pulse Service.”
October also marked the first full month of iPhone 14 series sales. One in every four devices sold in China during the month was an iPhone, according to Counterpoint.
While the sales for other key OEMs declined in October, Apple grew 21% month-over-month. In year-over-year terms, China’s sales declined 15%, while Apple’s sales declined just 4%, which further helped increase Apple’s market share.
(In the hardware industry, the term OEM usually refers to a company that builds a product designed for end-users.)
Counterpoint says Apple has been reaching new heights in terms of market share in China during the last two years. It reached a record monthly market share in November and December 2020, and in October, November and December 2021. Notably, 2020 was also the year when US sanctions were imposed on Huawei.
“China’s market has been sluggish due to multiple factors, including macroeconomic pressures and COVID-19 lockdowns hitting consumer sentiment … However, Apple managed to defy the market trend. This also shows the resilient nature of the premium segment,” says Research Director Ethan Qi. “Looking at the trend for the last two years in China, it is evident that Apple has emerged as a clear winner of Huawei’s share in the premium market. It has almost become an undisputed leader in China’s premium segment. The iPhone 14 series has started off well with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max performing better than the previous generation. The iPhone 13 also continues to do well, as the iPhone 14 offers little differentiation from the iPhone 13.”
The iPhone 14 Pro Max was the best-selling device in China during the month, followed by the iPhone 14 Pro. Comparing the first five weeks of the iPhone 14 Pro series sales in China with that of the iPhone 13 Pro series sales for the same period, the Pro series share in the iPhone 14 series sales was 70%, compared to 47% in the iPhone 13 series.
“The trend of rising Pro series popularity is not limited to China. It is there in other key markets like the US as well. Apple now offers significant design and specification differentiation between the Pro and non-Pro line-ups,” says Senior Analyst Varun Mishra. “For example, the Pro versions now get the latest processor as well as the dynamic island, which further increases the line-up’s exclusivity. Consumers can see a clear value-addition in spending extra for the Pro versions. In our primary interviews in the past, we also found consumers demanding a larger differentiation for the Pro versions. As a result, there is a clear demand shift towards the Pro line-up in the 14 series. The wait times also suggest the same trend. Delivery times for the Pro series have been 3-4 weeks across key regions with the supply catching up with the demand. Overall, the Pro series will help Apple reach record average selling prices (ASPs) in 2022.”