Q3 2023 China Smartphone Sales Fall 3% Signaling Recovery Getting Closer

  • In Q3 2023, smartphone sales in China declined 3% YoY in a sign the market could be closer to bottoming out.
  • Huawei was the big winner, growing 37% YoY on the back of the newly launched Mate 60 series, which is powered by its SoC Kirin 9000S.
  • Major OEMs’ performance varied significantly YoY, which resulted in market ranking changes. HONOR took the top spot as vivo and OPPO lost significant ground.
  • Apple lost share in Q3 2023 as some demand was fulfilled in Q1 and Q2 and because the iPhone 15’s launch sales volume was lower than that of the iPhone 14 series.

Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Seoul – October 26, 2023

In a sign China’s smartphone market may be closer to bottoming out, its sales fell 3% YoY in Q3 2023, narrowing the YoY decline sequentially, according to Counterpoint’s Market Pulse Service. Major OEMs’ performance varied significantly compared to the same period last year, which resulted in market ranking changes. HONOR took the top spot even as vivo and OPPO lost significant ground.

China Smartphone Market Sales Share, Q3 2022 vs Q3 2023

Counterpoint Research
Source: Counterpoint Market Pulse Service

Notes: OPPO includes OnePlus; Xiaomi includes Redmi; vivo includes iQOO; Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

During Q3 2023, the performance of most leading OEMs except Huawei was lackluster. On the back of the Kirin SoC’s return, Huawei launched the Mate 60 Pro suddenly at the end of August. It has made a huge splash in the market, contributing big to Huawei’s smartphone sales growth of 37% YoY in Q3 2023. Commenting on Huawei’s performance, Senior Analyst Ivan Lam said, “Although the Mate 60’s sales are under the Pioneer Program and mostly carried out through the brand’s offline and online channels, the product has quickly garnered massive attention. Huawei is striving to ramp up production to catch up with the demand.”

HONOR led the market with an 18.3% share largely driven by the newly launched HONOR X50 and HONOR 90. Xiaomi increased YoY on the back of strong sales of the Redmi K and Note series driven by competitive promotional prices. On the slight increase in these two brands’ market share, Research Analyst Alicia Gong said, “Both HONOR and Xiaomi are focusing on offering more affordable mid-range products with promotional prices to both retailers and consumers to offset any potential downward pressure. This strategy has proven to be effective.”

OPPO, vivo and Apple all experienced double-digit decreases in sales. Lam said, “iPhone sales declined as some demand for older models was fulfilled in Q1 and Q2 2023 due to earlier-than-expected price cuts by channels, which were not offset by the official price adjustment. This was compounded by initial supply constraints faced by the iPhone 15 series, which resulted in lower sales compared to the iPhone 14 series for the launch period. However, traditional offline dominators OPPO and vivo were impacted by weaker spending in Tier 2 and lower cities, as well as being slightly less aggressive in promotions than HONOR and Xiaomi.”

During the quarter, sales of foldable smartphone models continued to grow. The OPPO Find N2 Flip remained the top-selling clamshell-type foldable, while the HONOR Magic V2 ranked first among book-type models. As we enter Q4, all OEMs are gearing up to improve overall performance and end the year with strong sales.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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