Europe Smartphone Shipments Decline 11% YoY in Q3 2023, Recovery Looks Distant

  • Europe’s smartphone shipments declined 11% YoY in Q3 2023.
  • Samsung touched its lowest Q3 shipments since 2011.
  • Apple captured a higher market share despite its lowest Q3 shipments since 2014.
  • HONOR was back in the top five after three years with strong growth in Western Europe.

London, New Delhi, Jakarta, Boston, Toronto, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – November 20, 2023

­Europe’s smartphone shipments declined 11% YoY in Q3 2023, according to the latest report from Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor Service. Western Europe declined by 8%, indicating a slight recovery from the 14% decline in the previous quarter. However, Eastern Europe declined by 15% due to continued economic and geopolitical challenges.

A chart showing the Europe Smartphone Shipment share by OEM

Commenting on the overall market, Research Analyst Harshit Rastogi said, “Q3 2023 saw the lowest Q3 smartphone shipments since 2011. However, some OEMs have managed to gain a foothold in the market, such as Transsion brands TECNO and Infinix (particularly in Russia), while HONOR is doing well in Western Europe. Even as the market shares of top players remain the same, Chinese OEMs are switching ranks among themselves.”

Commenting on the outlook, Associate Director Jan Stryjak said, “While the market continued to decline, major launches like the iPhone 15 series and Samsung’s fifth-generation foldables softened the fall. The rate of decline is slowing and, while we aren’t holding out a return to growth just yet, we are optimistic about a strong end to the year in Q4. Economic conditions continue to be tough, though, and people are holding on to their devices for longer than ever. Therefore, we expect the market to remain muted for the foreseeable future.”

Market summary for Q3 2023

  • Samsung declined 15% YoY and reached its lowest Q3 shipments since 2011. The decline was mitigated by the launch of its new foldables, which received a warm reception in the region.
  • Apple reached its highest Q3 share at 24% despite declining by 3% YoY and touching its lowest Q3 shipments since 2014. The OEM will likely lead in the coming quarter owing to pent-up upgrade demand for the iPhone 15 series.
  • Xiaomi declined by 13% in Q3 2023 but remained the top player in Eastern Europe, capturing 35% of the market. The brand is also facing backlash in some Western European markets (like Finland) due to its continued presence in the Russian market.
  • HONOR was the only brand among the top five to grow YoY, inching closer to levels before its split from Huawei and entering the top five. The brand is likely to take market share from other Chinese OEMs (like OPPO).
  • Transsion brands TECNO and Infinix surged in the region, growing 192% and 518% respectively, with Russia being the primary market for both. In the coming quarters, the competition among the Chinese OEMs will intensify even as parallel imports sustain the market for Samsung and Apple.
  • OPPO’s uncertainties in the region were reflected in its shipments, which declined 23% YoY. However, Eastern Europe limited the brand’s regional decline with 27% growth. In the coming quarters, the brand will likely face more issues in Western Europe.


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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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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OPPO Find N3 Boasts Flagship-level Specs, Productive Software Features

  • With the latest launch of the OPPO Find N3, OPPO continues to grow its foldable portfolio, aiming for increased foldable shipments not only in China but overseas.
  • The OPPO Find N3 comes with upgraded specs, with the world-facing triple-main-camera setup making it a true flagship-level camera phone.
  • OPPO also differentiates its third-generation foldable smartphone with inspiring software features, and further improves the productivity of a foldable smartphone.

OPPO launched its latest third-generation book-style foldable smartphone, the OPPO Find N3, globally on October 19. The redesigned flagship foldable smartphone will be available in multiple overseas markets, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia where OPPO has a significant presence.

Counterpoint Research

Key specs of the OPPO Find N3:

  • The OPPO Find N3 enables flagship-level mobile photography experiences in a foldable form factor. The rear camera system consists of three high-megapixel sensors, and the 48MP Sony LYTIA LYT800-powered main camera delivers image quality close to that of the 1-inch large sensor, thanks to the innovative stacked pixel structure.
  • The foldable smartphone sports a pair of market-leading screens, both with ultra-thin structures, a density of above 400 PPI, and up to 2800 nit brightness.
  • OPPO has redesigned the water-drop hinge with fewer subcomponents and new metal materials. The third-generation Flexion Hinge is lighter and more durable, allowing the Find N3 to withstand 1 million folds tested by TÜV Rheinland.
  • The security has been enhanced with a dedicated security chip and the thoughtful VIP mode.
Counterpoint Research
*OPPO held the overseas launch event in Singapore.

As a book-style foldable flagship targeted at business users, the OPPO Find N3 comes with inspiring software features. With the support of the Andes Cloud, the OPPO Find N3 users can locally open common professional documents such as DWG files, as well as unique files from their Apple devices. The OPPO Find N3 also allows users to manage files across operating systems via the portal. Both features help bridge the gap between Android and iOS.

Counterpoint Research

Committed to creating a more practical and efficient mobile office experience, the OPPO Find N3 also makes a breakthrough toward split-screen scenarios. The panoramic virtual screen feature fully utilizes the 7.82-inch screen, maintaining the large windows, and also enables smooth switching between apps.

Counterpoint Research

OPPO is becoming an influential foldable brand – during H1 2023, OPPO shipped around 700,000 foldable smartphones, ranking third globally and second in China, according to Counterpoint Research’s global foldable smartphone tracker. With the global launch of the OPPO Find N3 Flip and OPPO Find N3, along with the OnePlus Open, OPPO expects to further strengthen its presence in the global foldable market.


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OPPO Find N3 Flip Review: Big Camera System Upgrade, Alert Slider and More

OPPO recently launched its second-generation flip phone, the Find N3 Flip. It comes with several refinements over last year’s popular Find N2 Flip. The aim is to bring the flip phone experience on par with that of flagship bar phones. There are three key areas where the OPPO Find N3 Flip brings improvements over its predecessor. Let us discuss them and everything else that is new and different in the Find N3 Flip.

Enhanced camera capabilities 

The biggest upgrade coming to the Find N3 Flip is the Hasselblad-branded triple-camera system. While the camera resolution is the same as in the Find X6 Pro (review), there are a few changes though, especially in the sensor size and focal lengths of the telephoto camera. It has a 50MP (24mm) primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, 1/1.56-inch sensor size and 1.0um pixel size. It also includes OIS to let users capture blur-free photos and videos. The main camera is paired with a 32MP (47mm) telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom capabilities and a 48MP ultrawide (14mm) camera. This makes the Find N3 Flip the first flip foldable to feature triple cameras with high-resolution sensors.

Besides, the Find N3 Flip pioneers selfie capabilities, allowing users to capture great shots. The large cover screen provides a preview for framing the perfect shot, while the multi-angle hovering capability of the foldable enables different angles for selfies. It also comes with a new interval shooting function.

OPPO Find N3 Flip Review: Big Camera System Upgrade, Alert Slider and More

Pioneering large cover display

OPPO has pioneered the new-generation clamshell-type foldable with an unprecedentedly large cover display. In older-generation clamshell-type foldables such as the Z Flip, Z Flip3, Z Flip4, Huawei P50 Pocket and the Pocket S, the cover displays typically measured around 1 inch. However, OPPO started a trend with the Find N2 Flip, introducing a cover display as large as 3.26 inches. This trend has been swiftly embraced by other OEMs, including vivo, Motorola and Samsung. While these cover displays may appear small in today’s context, they are akin to the original iPhone’s 3.5-inch display. The significance lies in the ability of OEMs to leverage and enhance these cover displays, making them more practical and beneficial for consumers.

In the Find N3 Flip, the 3.26-inch vertical cover display remains the same in size but has more functionality than the first-generation Find N2 Flip. Users can access navigation, music and social networking apps, as well as smart key integration for select car brands. OPPO’s cover screen is said to have the most number of customized apps in the industry, such as WeChat, TikTok, Weibo, bilibili, Xiaohongshu, QQ music and Netease. In addition, OPPO has upgraded the animated 2D emojis to 3D, which can be used as cover display wallpapers.

OPPO Find N3 Flip Review: Big Camera System Upgrade, Alert Slider and More

Upgraded hardware

The Find N3 Flip is powered by MediaTek’s 4nm Dimensity 9200 chipset. The battery is still capped at 4,300mAh and supports the same 44W fast-charging speeds. The N3 Flip opens up to a 6.8-inch foldable LTPO AMOLED screen with a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate. The N3 Flip also passed the TÜV Rheinland Folding Endurance Test, registering a record-breaking 600,000 folds.

Colors and pricing

The Find N3 Flip comes in three colors – Rosy Pink, Mirror Black and Moonlight Gold. It features a popular three-stage alert slider used by OnePlus, making it easy to toggle between Ring, Silent and Vibrate modes. Along with the smartphone, OPPO is also offering stylish phone cases designed by famous local designers.

The pricing of the phone came as a surprise. The 256GB variant with 12GB RAM is priced at RMB 6,799 (around $934) and the 512GB variant with 12GB RAM is priced at RMB 7,599 (around $1,044). These prices are slightly higher than the N2 Flip’s launch price.

OPPO Find N3 Flip Review: Big Camera System Upgrade, Alert Slider and More

The Find N3 Flip is already on sale and is expected to launch in global markets in October. While the model has impressive upgrades compared to its first generation, its design and features seem to be geared toward a female audience, positioning it not just as a smartphone but also as a stylish accessory.

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Under-30 South Korea Survey: 85% Bought Android as First Phone; Now 53% on iOS

  • About 85% of South Korean smartphone users aged less than 30 had an Android phone as their first smartphone, but 53% of them now use iPhones.
  • The biggest reason for these Android phone users to switch to iPhones was expectations related to performance, particularly the camera.
  • On the other hand, 92% of users in the same age group who used an iPhone as their first smartphone are currently using an iPhone.

About 85% of South Korean smartphone users aged less than 30 used Android phones such as Samsung and LG as their first smartphones, according to a consumer survey conducted by Counterpoint Research among 1,000 users in the first half of 2023. However, about 53% of them said that they were currently using an iPhone, suggesting that many Android phone users had switched to iPhones during replacement.

The reason why Android phones account for a very high proportion of first-time smartphone purchases in South Korea is that most users in that age group, particularly adolescence, give priority to the preference of those with real purchasing power, such as parents, when buying their first smartphone. During the survey, the largest number of respondents opted for “Recommendation from family or friends” when asked why they used an Android as their first smartphone.

Smartphone OS Switching Pattern in South Korea

first smartphone brand in life
Source: Counterpoint Smartphone User Experience by OS in Korea Report, H1 2023

As for the reason for switching from an Android phone to an iPhone, respondents cited “Performance” (32%) and “Brand image” (31%) as the first and second priorities. In particular, in terms of performance, satisfaction and expectation with the camera had the greatest impact on the purchase decision. Apple operates a number of R&D centers specializing in imaging technology and is evaluated to have maximized the camera performance of its devices by achieving good harmony between hardware and software. Besides, Apple recently launched a campaign called ‘Shot on iPhone’ in the South Korean market. The campaign emphasizes the iPhone’s camera performance through collaboration with a music video by Korean girl group NewJeans and a short film by director Park Chan-wook.

apple iphone
Source: Apple

According to the survey, in the <30 age group user base, Apple seems to have succeeded in solidifying the loyalty of existing iPhone users as well as switchers from Android phones. 92% of users who owned an iPhone as their first-ever smartphone said they were still using the brand. Furthermore, about 76% of them said they were not willing to use Android phones in the future. The respondents cited dissatisfaction with Android phones’ “Design” (52%) and “Performance” (29%) as reasons.

When considering all age groups, more than half of the respondents who said they switched from iPhone to Android cited easy-to-use features such as Samsung Pay and UI as the differentiating factors. These answers were similar to those of current iPhone users, who said they were willing to replace their devices with Android smartphones in the future. Therefore, to attract new users and secure loyal customers, marketing strategies that focus on user convenience are expected to be effective for Android smartphone brands.

China’s <$150 Smartphone Market Posts Surprising Surge in Q1 2023

  • China’s entry-level segment (<$150) rose 22% YoY in Q1 2023, despite a decline in the overall domestic smartphone market.
  • Demand in the segment appears resilient as smartphones in China are a necessity for payments and job-related tasks.
  • Due to falling manufacturing costs, OEMs are offering more features in the <$150 segment, such as 5G.
  • Demand for entry-level products may continue but will decrease over time as customers move toward higher price segments.

China’s smartphone market is witnessing a surprising shift in the landscape. In Q1 2023, China’s overall smartphone market fell 5% YoY. However, going against the grain, the entry-level segment (<$150 wholesale price) increased significantly by 22% YoY during the quarter, according to Counterpoint’s China Quarterly Smartphone Report.

Over the years, Chinese OEMs have been mostly targeting the premium segment. Android smartphones have actively pushed the trend of premiumization in China, hoping to capture more market share from established players like Apple in the ultra-premium (>$800) segment. Nevertheless, Apple’s market share has continued to grow, reaching its highest in recent years.

China Smartphone Market Share by Price Bands Q1 2022 vs Q1 2023
Source: Counterpoint Market Pulse Service

The surprising rise in the entry-level price band in Q1 2023 serves as a reminder of the segment’s resilience. In China, people are increasingly reliant on smartphones as the digitalized society accepts mobile payments almost everywhere. Smartphones have become a necessity for finding jobs or working for the gig economy in areas such as food delivery and car chauffeuring.

Looking at historical data, China’s entry-level segment reached its peak in 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic when the smartphone penetration rate increased as the government promoted non-contact services. People also needed smartphones to register and scan their health codes when visiting public spaces.

China Smartphone Entry Level Segment Sales Share, 2018-2022
Source: Counterpoint Market Pulse Service

However, in the following year, the chip shortage led to a rapid increase in manufacturing costs for smartphones. OEMs had a hard time introducing major updates in entry-level price band smartphones, resulting in fewer choices for customers. Meanwhile, OEMs were more focused on the high-end segment where profit margins are typically higher.

Manufacturing costs have now declined over the past few quarters, allowing OEMs to introduce specification upgrades in the entry-level segment. One notable upgrade is the inclusion of 5G features, with several 5G models now available in the segment.

We do not expect most customers will replace their smartphones with cheaper ones priced below $150 considering the difficult macroeconomic situation. Customers are likely to hold on to their current smartphones longer. The replacement cycle in China has now exceeded 40 months.

Moreover, we expect the average selling price of smartphones to increase again by the end of 2023 as Android OEMs continue with their premiumization strategy and as foldable smartphone shipments continue to increase.

Demand in the entry-level segment is expected to persist in the future, as certain consumer groups may continue to prefer products in this price range. Apart from lower-income groups, which may decrease in size over time as the economy develops, teenagers and senior citizens may still opt for entry-level smartphones. This is because senior citizens typically are not very interested in technology products, and parents of teenagers often choose entry-level devices to limit their children’s smartphone usage.

When designing future smartphones in the entry-level segment, OEMs should consider adding group-focused features and specifications such as screens that reduce eye strain, easy parenting controls and stronger checks against fishing or click-bait ads. Such features would address the concerns of consumers in this segment and also draw in more customers.

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Philippines Smartphone Shipments Fall 9% YoY in Q1 2023; realme Leads

  • realme led the market with a 21% share, followed closely by Samsung at 20%.
  • Shipments in the $200-$400 and $400-$600 price bands 22% and 24% YoY respectively.
  • Premium (>$600) smartphone shipments witnessed a 14% YoY growth.
  • In the $200-$400 price band, 5G smartphone shipments increased by 20% YoY.

Jakarta, London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 26, 2023

Smartphone shipments in the Philippines experienced a decline of 9% YoY in Q1 2023, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Monthly Philippines Smartphone Tracker. The decline was driven by high inflation during the quarter, which impacted consumer sentiment and purchasing power. Q1 2023 also saw high inventory levels as fewer consumers bought smartphones after the festival season in Q4 2022 and as inflation climbed up.

Philippines smartphone shipments tracker

Note: Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Source: Counterpoint Monthly Philippines Tracker, Q1 2023

During the quarter, realme captured 21% of the market to overtake Samsung as the top brand. The major reason for this was Samsung’s 33% YoY decline, which helped realme reach the top spot. Other factors included offers on realme’s C series smartphones as part of its Lazada 2.2 sale. The realme 10 was also one of the top-performing models for the brand. Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G, A04 and A04e were the best performers for the brand. But due to high inventory levels, Samsung’s overall shipments decreased.

The brands which witnessed YoY growth included Infinix (59%), Xiaomi (22%) and Apple (22%). Infinix’s Hot series was particularly popular in the gaming world. For Xiaomi, the 12 series and Redmi’s A series proved to be popular, driving growth for the brand. Despite inflationary pressures, Apple registered a YoY growth due to the popularity of the iPhone 14 series in the country.

Smartphones priced less than $200 held more than half of the market shipments in Q1 2023.holding a combined share of almost 60%. Shipments in the $200-$400 and $400-$600 price bands saw a decline of 22% and 24% respectively. Many prospective consumers held on to their existing models and avoided any discretionary expenditure. OPPO led the $400-$600 band due to the popularity of the Reno 8T. Introductory offers for the Reno 8T, like free OPPO EncoBuds 2, worked in its favour. Other offers in Q1 2023, such as the Payday Sale, Super Brand Day and 2.2 Sale, are likely to have made OPPO smartphones more attractive for consumers. Premium segments (above $600) saw a 14% YoY increase in shipments driven by the iPhone 14 series.

5G smartphones recorded a positive YoY growth at 14%. It is particularly relevant to note that the 5G smartphones in the $200-$400 price band witnessed a 20% YoY growth along with an increase in their share in the band. This also implies that 5G smartphone shipments are becoming the norm as compared to LTE smartphones whose YoY sales reduced by 17%.

Telecom operators are adapting accordingly. Smart was the top operator for 5G services in the Philippines in Q1 2023. To provide 5G internet with satcom support, Smart and Omnispace have teamed together. Globe has reportedly managed to expand the reach of its 5G network to 70 cities.


 In Q1 2023, the Philippines recorded an economic growth of 6.4%, lower than the 7.1% in Q1 2022. However, since we are seeing signs of stabilizing inflation, we expect a flattish market in the coming months. The trend towards premiumization is expected to continue into the next quarter. 5G penetration is also expected to increase as OEMs are likely to launch more 5G smartphones in the mid-segment.

This research note is based on preliminary data and subject to change. Feel free to contact us at for any questions regarding this note or other insights.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in technology, media, and telecom (TMT) 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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US Smartphone Shipments Decline in Q1 2023 Amid High Inflation, Inventory Correction; Apple Share Up

  • Shipments declined 17% YoY in Q1 2023 due to inventory correction and weak consumer demand.
  • Apple increased its market share to 53% in Q1 2023 from 49% in Q1 2022.
  • The uncertain economic outlook forced consumers to hold off on new device purchases.
  • Some niche categories like foldables may continue to perform well despite overall weakness.
  • Incumbent postpaid players may increase promotional activity during H2 to take on cable MVNOs.

Denver, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 8, 2023

Smartphone shipments in the US declined 17% YoY in Q1 2023 as OEMs corrected high channel inventory and as consumer demand declined due to macroeconomic pressures. The market witnessed a dip in shipments across all major OEMs after registering a strong first quarter last year. However, Apple managed to increase its market share despite a YoY drop in its shipments.

Counterpoint-Research-US-Smartphone-Shipments-Q1-2023Counterpoint US OEM Share Q1 2023

Commenting on the situation, Research Analyst Matthew Orf said, “Inflation started impacting the US smartphone market in H2 2022, especially the low end where consumers have less disposable income and are more sensitive to changes in prices. Persistent inflation and an uncertain economic outlook are causing consumers to hold off on new device purchases, resulting in lower upgrade rates and fewer device sales, especially in the prepaid segment.”

The impact of inflation and other macroeconomic pressures on the market has been uneven. Senior Analyst Maurice Klaehne noted, “While prepaid brands saw significant YoY declines in shipments, there were some silver linings. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 shipments were up double digits YoY while the Galaxy A14 5G performed exceptionally well in prepaid. The gap between low-end and premium devices seems to be widening, creating a vacuum in the mid-range device category.”

Associate Research Director Hanish Bhatia noted, “Some niche categories may continue to perform well despite overall weakness. For instance, there is a lot of excitement around foldables this year as more OEMs jump onto the bandwagon, which may stir demand for premium devices. Similarly, demand from government-supported Lifeline and ACP programs will largely remain unaffected. But at a broader level, Android-to-iOS migration driven by young and first-time smartphone users continues to remain a key pain point among Android OEMs.”

Commenting on the direction of the US smartphone market, Director of North America Research Jeff Fieldhack said, “During Q1 2023, there was sluggish consumer demand with very low upgrades. We expect the incumbent postpaid players to increase promotional activity during the second half of the year to combat cable MVNOs, which saw higher net additions than the Big 3 during the quarter, a first for the US market.”

Feedback or a question for the analyst that wrote this note?


Matthew Orf

Research Analyst



Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) 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 

Matthew Orf

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Maurice Klaehne

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Hanish Bhatia

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Jeff Fieldhack

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Follow Counterpoint Research

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Further Reading: 

Global Smartphone Market Declines 14% YoY in Q1 2023; Apple Records Highest-Ever Q1 Share

China Smartphone Sales Fall 5% YoY in Q1 2023; Apple on Top with Highest Sales Share

India Smartphone Market Records Highest Ever Q1 Decline of 19%, 5G Smartphones Contribution at 43%


OPPO Find X6 Pro Review: A Photographer’s Delight

OPPO recently launched its latest flagship smartphone, the OPPO Find X6 Pro, exclusively for the China market. It features a refreshing new design, has an updated camera system, and packs in new technology in addition to the latest premium SoC from Qualcomm. We got to try out the OPPO Find X6 Pro soon after its launch here in China and have provided our analysis below. We focused on three key aspects for the review – design and display, performance, and the camera experience.

Great display, eye-catchy design

OPPO Find X6 Pro’s front is equipped with a 6.82-inch curved AMOLED display with a variable refresh rate between 1Hz-120Hz that adjusts automatically based on the on-screen content. OPPO claims that the display’s local peak brightness can reach 2500 nits.

A slight change from the last iteration, the Find X6 Pro’s front camera punch hole has been moved to the top middle of the display and the under-screen fingerprint unlock spot has also been moved up to a more appropriate position, which makes the front look harmonious. The back cover is a spliced with of silver glass and brown leather-like material, and an orange dot at the bottom of the circular lens module is similar to the lens anchor point of an SLR camera. Apart from the bumps in the lens module, the phone has a smooth design and feels good to hold.

counterpoint oppo find x6 pro review back

Snappy Performance

Under the hood is Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform, along with UFS 4.0 ROM, and LPDDR5X RAM with a virtual memory expansion function. Meanwhile, the MariSilicon X, OPPO’s self-developed imaging NPU still provides continuous support for computing photography. This is in the form of faster processing and enhanced low-light videography experiences.

The large 5,000mAh battery offers good battery life, while the 100W flash charging enables the device to power up to 50% in 10 minutes and 100% in 28 minutes. There is also support for 50W wireless flash charging.

Great photography experience

OPPO has equipped its rear camera system with three 50MP large-size image sensors – an IMX989 sensor for the wide camera with 23mm equivalent focal length and f/1.8 aperture. Then there are two IMX890 sensors, one for the ultra-wide camera with 15mm equivalent focal length and f/2.2 aperture, followed by a 3X telescope lens with 72mm equivalent focal length and f/2.6 aperture. In our testing, all three cameras offered excellent imaging performance.

counterpoint oppo find x6 pro review cameras

We have samples of the pictures taken from the different cameras:

  • Ultra-wide (0.6X zoom) –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_0.6x

  • Wide (1X zoom) –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_1x

  • Telescope (3X zoom) –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_3x

Leveraging the periscope telephoto image sensor’s 50MP and large area, the Find X6 Pro enables a 6X hybrid zoom. This 6X zoom also captures high-quality pictures.

OPPO Find X6 Pro_6x

OPPO Find X6 Pro_6x

With the help of the computing ability support from MariSilicon X, the 10X and 20X digital zoom images are still good for social media usage. However, the 30X zoom photo has obvious signs of overpainting.

  • 10X zoom –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_10x

  • 20X zoom –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_20x

  • 30X zoom –

OPPO Find X6 Pro_30x

When the subject is detected to be up close, the camera will switch to the macro mode by using the ultra-wide lens camera. In the picture, the scales and the beautiful texture on the tail of this Thai fighting fish can be seen clearly.

The 3X telephoto camera enables a minimum focus distance of 25cm, helping capture improved close-up shots.

OPPO has also introduced the new Hasselblad portrait mode in the Find X6 Pro, enabling a more natural background bokeh effect.

The Master Filters feature provides additional film ambiance to photos and good filter options before pressing the shutter button.

A new Pro XDR display feature has been added in the Find X6 Pro to preview photos, taking full advantage of the display with a maximum location brightness of up to 2500 nits, which allows the highlights in HDR photos to be displayed more brightly. However, this feature is currently only available on devices that support Pro XDR. Since the end of 2022, Google, Adobe, and other companies have been trying to establish a unified HDR photo standard and it should not be long before HDR photos are compatible with more devices.


Key takeaways

  • Overall the OPPO Find X6 Pro is a great flagship smartphone that makes mobile photography easier.
  • The OPPO Find X6 Pro is equipped with top-level hardware, namely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0.
  • The rear camera module and rear design offer it a distinct look to stand out from the crowd.
  • Though, in some scenarios, the shutter speed is slower, and that can be improved with further software updates.
  • The excellent display makes it great for content consumption.


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Smartphone Displays Moving Towards ‘Brighter’ Future

  • In 2022, more than a third of premium smartphones ($600) applied brightness over 900 nits. This is a 171% YoY jump.
  • Chinese OEMs are increasingly using brightness over 900 nits to strengthen their premium line-ups.
  • The trend of increasing brightness is gradually spreading to low-to-mid-priced smartphones.

For smartphone displays, visibility plays a more important role than in other devices like PCs and tablets. This is because smartphones are used outdoors for a substantial amount of time. Indicators like color gamut, contrast ratio, and brightness are important for a smartphone display striving to secure proper visibility. In addition, with the recent development of HDR, consumption of high-definition video content has soared, making good visibility more important than ever.

The display’s brightness can be divided into two main categories – typical brightness and peak brightness. Typical brightness refers to the level of brightness when using a smartphone in a general environment, such as indoors, while peak brightness refers to the level of brightness when using a smartphone in an extremely bright environment, such as a sunny outdoor environment. The brightness of smartphone displays is increasingly attracting interest from users and prospective buyers thanks to the increasing content consumption on the device. As a result, the competition among smartphone OEMs for display brightness quality is getting fiercer.

In 2022, over a third of premium smartphones (≥$600) applied brightness over 900 nits. This is a 171% YoY jump, which is not only due to Apple’s steady sales but also due to the increased use of this brightness band by Chinese OEMs trying to strengthen their premium line-ups, such as vivo, OPPO, and Xiaomi.

Global Premium Smartphone(≥$600) Display Brightness Share, 2022 vs 2021

 Global Smartphone Display Brightness Tracker, Q4 2022Source: Global Smartphone Display Brightness Tracker, Q4 2022
Note: The chart is based on typical brightness.

Further, this trend is gradually spreading to low-to-mid-priced smartphones. For instance, Samsung has not only significantly increased the adoption of brightness exceeding 700 nits in its premium smartphones, but it has also brought down the share of brightness below 450 nits in its low-to-mid priced smartphones by about 20%p in 2022. More than 90% of Samsung’s low-to-mid-priced smartphones had brightness below 450 nits in 2021. As a result of these changes, the proportion of over 700 nits in Samsung’s portfolio increased 13%p YoY in 2022.

Global Low-to-Mid-Priced Smartphone Display Brightness Share, 2022 vs 2021

Global Smartphone Display Brightness Tracker, Q4 2022Source: Global Smartphone Display Brightness Tracker, Q4 2022
Note: The chart is based on typical brightness.

In line with the improvement in typical brightness, peak brightness, which is essential for expanding the smartphone use environment, is also developing. However, due to problems like eye fatigue and reduced power efficiency, these two types of brightness cannot be improved indefinitely. Therefore, the software’s role has become more important here in balancing user demands with technological enhancements.

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