China Singles’ Day Smartphone Sales Drop 11%YoY

  • The Singles’ Day smartphone sales this year dropped about 11% YoY.
  • Apple’s Singles’ Day promotions were the biggest highlight of the festival this year.
  • On the Android side, online-focused brands offered bigger discounts than others.

China Singles’ Day smartphone sales dropped about 11% YoY in 2022 as the market stayed weak due to the sustained strict COVID-19 policy in the country. Apple joined the promotions season to step up sales of its iPhone 14 model, while online-focused Xiaomi offered the biggest promotions among Android OEMs.

Note: Numbers are preliminary results;
Source: Counterpoint Weekly Smartphone Sales Tracker

The Singles’ Day online shopping festival, which is the world’s biggest shopping festival in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV) and revenue, lasted from October 20 to November 11 this year. However, against the backdrop of sluggish demand amid macroeconomic headwinds, platforms declined to reveal their 2022 Singles’ Day sales performance in detail.

Apple’s promotions were the biggest highlight of the festival this year. The American smartphone brand joined the promotions season with a huge splash. Apple announced its participation on its official WeChat account and the discount on the iPhone14 was the biggest in recent years. The final price of the iPhone14 this year was around RMB 5,298, lower than the RMB 5,699 for the iPhone13 during last year’s festival. The stronger promotions were effective in boosting sales of the iPhone 14, which were performing weaker than the model’s predecessor.

On the Android side, online-focused brands including Xiaomi and OnePlus offered bigger discounts than others to benefit from the rising online traffic. Xiaomi’s sales rose on weekly basis but still dropped around 17% from last year’s comparable period. Xiaomi offered up to RMB 1,300 (or ~$180) off on its Mi12 series, while other products from the Redmi K series to the Redmi Note series were available for RMB 100 to RMB 300 (~$14 to ~$42) off. Besides, Xiaomi teamed up with Tmall and to offer additional discounts for e-commerce membership or on every RMB 300.

In terms of price-band distribution, high-frequency data indicated that premium models, especially iPhones, and low-end models performed better than the mid-end ones.

However, most Android OEMs did not update their killer product lines to benefit from the Singles’ Day rising traffic. OPPO’s Reno 9, vivo’s X90 and HONOR’s 80 will launch in late November, so it can be expected that these new models will lift sales in Q4. However, they will not be enough to change the negative double-digit growth rate projected for 2022.

To find more information on China’s smartphone sales during the Singles’ Day period, please refer to the report 2022 China Singles’ Day Smartphone Market Analysis.

Sales on Largest Shopping Days of 2021 Give Glimpse Into 2022

Counterpoint Research analysts had interesting takeaways from the largest shopping days of 2021. These insights highlight some major trends of 2021 that will continue into 2022.

China’s 11.11 Singles’ Day Sales

The Singles’ Day holiday in China has turned into a two-week event from being a one-day event originally. In 2021, volumes were down about 1% YoY. However, this can be explained from the earlier launch of the iPhone 13 series compared to the iPhone 12 series – volumes were pulled in earlier to September and October. Most of the major OEMs saw double-digit growth YoY.

Volumes were more concentrated among the major OEMs. vivo, Xiaomi, Apple, OPPO and HONOR were all relatively close in sales during the Singles’ Day holiday. There will probably not be one dominating brand through 2022. OEMs will rise to #1 around key flagship and high-volume product launches. This is similar to 2021 when Huawei, OPPO, vivo and Apple all claimed top spots around key launch months.

Another 11.11 takeaway is that there has not been measurable anti-Apple sentiment despite much anti-US sentiment through the growing trade tensions between the two countries. As Huawei volumes are on a steep decline now and many Chinese believe Huawei has been wronged by the US government, anti-Apple sentiment is both possible and logical. But still, Apple has managed to galvanize its position in the premium segment in China. Apple’s market share in the $800 and above price band in China has grown to the same levels as other mature markets.

US Black Friday and Christmas Season Sales

In the US, there was much larger store traffic during the 2021 holiday season compared to 2020. However, shortages hurt overall smartphone sales and pushed some connections into 2022, especially in the flagship space. The iPhone 13 series (especially the Pro and Pro Max models), Galaxy S21 series and the new Google Pixel 6/6 Pro saw shortages through Christmas, which pushed some sales into 2022.

With store traffic up, online sales have fallen. Online sales are larger than pre-pandemic levels but only about 5% higher. Carrier channels and national retail channels continue to woo consumers with large promotional offers, which need an old device to be traded in to secure the highest rebate. For the masses, it is easier to go into stores to make the exchange than to mail in devices and do a SIM swap.

The iPhone 13 family is a strong refresh for Apple. The company has struggled to meet the demand for the Pro Max and Pro models. Counterpoint surveys have shown some ‘buying down’ to the iPhone 13 due to these stockouts. However, shortages of older devices such as the iPhone 12, iPhone 11 and iPhone SE have also pushed consumers to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. We suspect the iPhone supply will meet demand in February.

After about seven weeks of sales, the iPhone 13 has remained the top activated SKU in the US. This can partially be explained by the better availability of the iPhone 13 than that of the Pro Max and Pro models. In addition, the iPhone 13 at $800 (minus promos) is seen as an attractive offer and easy sell for the major carriers and retailers.

Counterpoint Research iPhone 13 Family Sales Share by Model in First 10 Weeks of Sales in the US

For complete model-level sales details, contact info(at) .

Related Posts

China’s Singles’ Day Smartphone Sales Drop 0.7% YoY But Major Local OEMs See Good Growth

China preludes the global festival sales season with its Singles’ Day online shopping festival, held from November 1 to November 11 in recent years. Major smartphone OEMs come with discount offers and new models to grab sales share during the shopping festival. However, during the Singles’ Day period this year, the overall sales of smartphones in China went down 0.7% YoY, primarily due to the iPhone 13 series’ early release compared to the iPhone 12 series and Huawei’s decline.

Except for Huawei, all major OEMs saw a significant increase in sales. vivo’s sales increased 19% YoY to more than 2.6 million, giving the OEM the top spot with a market share of 20%. Xiaomi (19%) and Apple (18%) took the second and third spots.

Major OEMs’ Market Share During 2021 Singles’ Day Shopping Season

Source: Counterpoint Research

Note: Xiaomi includes Redmi and vivo includes IQOO. 


Xiaomi, being an online-centric smartphone brand, had the biggest promotions among major OEMs. For example, the Mi11 Pro and Mix 4 models, launched in March and August, were sold RMB800 or $127 cheaper than their launch prices. Such aggressive promotions also reflect the stock position of models. Xiaomi’s popular models, such as the Redmi K40, were RMB200 cheaper during the Singles’ Day period, in line with other OEMs. Xiaomi’s sales increased 40% to 2.45 million units this year.

Apple’s sales increased 27% YoY but this hasn’t fully reflected the whole picture. Apple resumed its normal launch cycle this year and unveiled the iPhone 13 series in September. After almost two months, it was incredible to see Apple retaining the third spot when other OEMs were offering price cuts. Due to supply issues, the normal wait time for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max ranges between four and five weeks. Some Chinese customers choose to pay premiums to get the new phones delivered immediately.

The iPhone 13 series sales are expected to outperform that of the iPhone 12 series and part of the iPhone 13 demand will be postponed to Q1 2022 when the traditional Chinese New Year is celebrated.


Source: Counterpoint Research

From being a single-day event, Singles’ Day has now become a three-week shopping season (some vendors start accepting pre-orders on October 20 and begin deliveries on November 1) and is no longer exclusive to online-centric brands. Offline-centric smartphone brands’ offerings focus on value-for-money and mid-tier models during the event. In 2021, such models included the HONOR X30 series, vivo T1 series and Redmi Note 11 series. But no OEM chose to challenge Apple with premium products.


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.