In the fourth quarter of 2021, thanks to the release of the iPhone 13 series, Apple shipped 21.5 million smartphones in China and regained top position for the first time since the first quarter of 2015, according to Canalys.
The research group’s Toby Zhu had this to say: Apple delivered an outstanding quarter, providing an adequate supply to the Chinese market amid its tight global supply. Apple’s China market share in Q4 2021 was its highest and accounted for a quarter of total market shipments, a record for Apple since it entered in 2009.
Apple surprised the market with a lower launch price of the iPhone 13 series which greatly stimulated consumer interest, while overall retail consumption was subdued in Q4 in China. Meanwhile the absence of strong Android competitors in the high-end segment also contributed to Apple’s stellar performance this quarter. his also validates the demand of the high-end segment in China, where consumers are less affected by the macro-economic uncertainty. Apple’s success will further accelerate Android vendors’ investment in the high-end market, with highly differentiated features and experiences for domestic consumers.”
For the full year, 2021 saw nearly 333 million smartphones shipped in China. Canalys says that’s a year-on-year increase of 1%, still more than 10% below the pre-COVID-19 level in 2019.