By Ben Otto

 

Apple's smartphone shipments in China fell in the final quarter of 2023, hurt by weaker consumer demand and rising market share for rival Huawei Technologies, data from research firm IDC showed Thursday.

Shipments of Apple smartphones fell 2.1% in the world's largest smartphone market in the fourth quarter, IDC said in its quarterly tracking of mobile-phone shipments. Apple retained its spot as the top smartphone seller in China, even as its market share fell to 20.0% from 20.6% a year earlier.

For the full year, the U.S. tech giant overtook local rival Vivo to become China's top smartphone vendor for the first time, with its market share rising to 17.3% from 16.8% a year earlier.

Chinese telecom specialist Huawei posted a 36% jump in quarterly shipments to boost its market share to 13.9% from 10.3% a year ago. The company ranked as China's fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the quarter, returning to the top five after more than two years, IDC said.

Overall, smartphone shipments in China fell 5.0% to 271.3 million units in 2023--the lowest volume in a decade--amid weak consumer sentiment, IDC said.

"While the Chinese smartphone market remains challenged, it is moving towards recovery," with growth in the fourth quarter marking the end of 10 straight quarters of year-over-year decline, IDC said. High-end consumers in first- to third-tier cities were key drivers in the growth, while demand for lower-range products remained weak, it said.

 

Write to Ben Otto at ben.otto@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 25, 2024 06:15 ET (11:15 GMT)

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