Apple just had a tremendous quarter in a slowly recovering Chinese smartphone market

Apple just had a tremendous quarter in a slowly recovering Chinese smartphone market
While Apple couldn't ultimately beat Samsung in the global smartphone market during the first three months of this year, also ranking... somewhere below the top five vendors in India, Q1 2023 was undeniably a prosperous period for the Cupertino-based manufacturers of the hugely popular iPhone 14 family.

It was obviously that late 2022-released series of high-end iOS handsets that almost single-handedly propelled the company to the number one spot in China between January and March 2023, edging out former (and current) silver medalist Oppo and ex-champion Vivo to achieve a 19.9 percent share of all regional sales.

That's right, Apple only finished the opening quarter of last year in third place in the world's largest smartphone market, with a 17.9 percent slice of the pie that's been boosted by a healthy 2 percent with the crucial help of reduced iPhone 14 series prices compared to Q4 2022.

Of course, Apple topped Chinese smartphone shipments over the final three months of last year as well, but that was hardly unexpected. What was slightly more unusual was seeing iPhone sales in the region decline from Q4 2021 in a very challenging economic environment.

This time around, Apple's shipment figures are also on the rise, and while a 6 percent year-on-year progress doesn't exactly sound monumental, that was enough to set new nine-year and eight-year company records for Q1 share and Q1 sales respectively.

That's an especially remarkable achievement when you consider that overall Q1 Chinese smartphone shipments dipped 5 percent between 2022 and 2023, which is... actually not a poor result. In fact, the market is starting to recover after a pretty horrible last few quarters, and the Q2 decline could be even smaller.

Circling back to the top vendors, it's certainly worth highlighting Huawei's great progress... from a "low base" at the beginning of last year, as well as Vivo, Honor, Xiaomi, and Realme's double-digit drops in quarterly shipments.

Another interesting stat not visible in that graph above is the 227 percent (!!!) year-on-year surge in OnePlus sales, which obviously helped Oppo retain its second position and keep those overall losses in single-digit territory.

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