Since China is the largest smartphone market in the world (followed by India and the U.S.), and considering that much of the innovation that we see in the industry comes from Chinese brands, it might be a good idea to look at the five top-selling smartphones in the region. First, we should point out that the surprise August unveiling of the Huawei Mate 60 Pro powered by the homemade 7nm Kirin 9000s 5G SoC helped Huawei generate annual growth of 90% back in October.
For October, the latest month that Counterpoint Research has released this data for, the top-selling phone in China must have been one of the models in the Mate 60 line, right? BZZT. Oh, so close. Actually, with a leading 5% of the Chinese smartphone market the top-selling smartphone in the country that month was the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Ok, then the remaining four phones in the top five for the month must have included three or four of the handsets in the Mate 60 series (Mate 60, Mate 60 Pro, Mate 60 Pro+, Mate 60RS), correct?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max edged out the Huawei Mate 60 Pro in China during October
BZZT (boy, is that buzzer annoying). Actually, three of the top five selling phones in China during October were iPhone models with the iPhone 15 Pro in third place copping a 4% slice of the Chinese smartphone market pie. And with a 3% share, the iPhone 15 finished in fifth place.
So then, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro must have finished second, just behind the iPhone 15 Pro Max with a 4% share. DING, DING, DING! “Correctamundo,” as the Fonz used to say (Google it). And former Huawei sub-brand Honor took the remaining open spot in the top five as the Honor X50 finished fourth with a 3% market share in the country during October.
Huawei was on its way to reaching a publicly announced goal to be the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world when the U.S., citing national security concerns, slapped sanctions on the company in 2019 preventing it from accessing its U.S. supply chain. The following year (on the same exact date!) the U.S. banned all foundries using American technology from shipping cutting-edge chips to Huawei. Shipments plunged to 35 million in 2021 but are expected to return to triple digits this year with up to 100 million units estimated to be delivered.