China’s Q4 2021 Smartphone Shipments Fall 11% YoY; HONOR #2 for First Time as Momentum Builds

  • HONOR reached the second position for the first time after becoming an independent company. It also showed strong momentum at the beginning of 2022 with a record high weekly sales share of 17%.
  • Apple enjoyed a strong quarter in Q4 2021 with more than one-fifth of all smartphones shipped being iPhones.
  •  Major OEMs continued a strong focus on the premium segment and we could see Android regain share over the next few quarters.

Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Taipei, Seoul – February 16, 2022

China’s smartphone shipments dropped 11% YoY in Q4 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Q4 2021 Market Monitor. There was intense competition, with Apple ending on top and reaching its highest market share ever.

HONOR increased its market share by more than two times from a year ago to become China’s second-biggest OEM for the first time after becoming an independent company.

Both Apple and HONOR delivered surprises to the upside and continued the trend of a constantly changing competitive landscape.

Source: Counterpoint Market Monitor Note: OPPO included OnePlus in Q3 2021 and Q4 2021. vivo includes iQOO. Xiaomi includes Redmi.

Apple’s iPhone 13 dominated the premium segment thanks to its comparatively lower launch price.

HONOR’s mid-to-high-end products helped drive the brand’s sales with the HONOR 50 retaining the top spot in the $200-$599 price band for five months after its launch.

vivo’s shipments dropped 13.8% YoY in Q4 2021 with its market share at 16.5%. Xiaomi fell to the fifth position, sustaining its downward trend. OPPO rose to third as it included its sub-brand OnePlus.

Source: Counterpoint Market Monitor Note: OPPO included OnePlus in Q3 2021 and Q4 2021. vivo includes iQOO. Xiaomi includes Redmi.

Coming into 2022, we expect HONOR to maintain its growth momentum with the help of the newly launched products like the HONOR 60 and Magic V. Our weekly China sales data shows the vendor enjoying strong momentum, with its sales in the last two weeks of January increasing 32% over the first two weeks. The market share reached a record high of 17% in the week ended January 30.

Source: Counterpoint Smartphone Tracker
Note: Counterpoint’s China weekly smartphone data tracked sales numbers.

Premium battle intensifies

Even though the shipments were down in 2021, major OEMs kept expanding their premium product portfolios. Such devices include vivo’s X70 Pro, Xiaomi’s Mix 4 and HONOR’s Magic3 and Magic V.

Among Android devices, HONOR’s Magic3 led the segment. The series comes with an iconic exterior design and Snapdragon 888-led flagship-level specifications. Software and hardware integrations enhance the user experience.

Foldables is another hot option for OEMs to target the premium segment by providing differentiated products. Also, Apple is yet to enter this segment, which means an opportunity for other OEMs to get a head start.

HONOR has launched its first foldable – Magic V, which is claimed to be the thinnest. Its cover screen is a 6.45-inches OLED, convenient for daily use. On the other hand, the OPPO Find N’s cover screen is only 5.49 inches but a thumb can reach all corners. Huawei has launched a clamshell 4G foldable phone – Huawei P50 Pocket, which targets female and fashion-conscious customers.

Coming into 2022, OEMs including HONOR, vivo and OPPO will keep trying to expand in the premium segment. In addition to foldable products, Android brands will introduce more premium smartphones this year to reclaim some of the market share gained by Apple in 2021.

The premium battle will not be limited to China’s market. OEMs including HONOR, OPPO, Xiaomi and vivo will bring their premium offerings to the global arena. Western Europe will be the prime choice since the region has a relatively large premium smartphone user base and also helps OEMs boost their brand image in more overseas markets.

The MWC Barcelona meet held in February/March is traditionally a good opportunity to land in Europe. OEMs including HONOR, vivo and OPPO are expected to show their premium offerings and cutting-edge technologies during this year’s event.


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.

Analyst Contacts:

Archie Zhang


Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.