Apple's slight tick upwards in China in Q3 was due to the earlier release of their Entry iPhone over Last Year
IDC's latest report states that smartphone shipments in China stood at 98.9 million units in the third quarter of 2019, down 3.6% year-on-year. This marked a narrower decline than the first half of the year, in part due to Huawei's strong performance.
Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific: While "Huawei gained share at the expense of almost all other market players, Apple was able to buck the trend with its competitive pricing strategy and brand name – in spite of US-China trade tensions and the lack of a 5G model."
IDC reported that Apple achieved a 5.6% year-on-year growth by offering competitive pricing and notable improvements in camera and battery life for its new iPhone 11 series. In addition, the new entry-level model shipped one quarter earlier this year, thus also supporting the year-on-year growth rate.
As for market leader Huawei, their market share reached a record high of 42.0% with its increased brand appeal and strong channel partnerships. While the Changxiang and nova series were the volume drivers, the high-margin Mate and P series provided attractive channel margins. This strategy played a crucial role in sustaining Huawei's performance in China.
For second place Vivo, their success centered on winning the US$150-200 and US$200-400 segments with its Y and Z series. The iQOO series also fueled the vendor's performance by targeting tech-savvy users, while its competitively priced 5G model successfully garnered attention in the market.
Samsung didn't make the top five vendor's list even with their lower priced A-Series. Samsung will try to win some market share by challenging Huawei's coming Mate X foldable phone with their Galaxy Fold.
Though in a tough market, I doubt that there will be millions of Chinese citizens looking to buy a foldable smartphone between $2000 and $2400 this holiday season – or any season for that matter.