China’s second-quarter smartphone sales fall 14.2% year-on-year as consumers pull back

People look at smartphones at Huawei’s first global flagship store in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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SHANGHAI, July 27 (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone sales in April-June fell 14.2% year on year and volumes hit their lowest level in a decade, Counterpoint Research said on Wednesday, as China struggling to recover from the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and industry accolades for more uncertainty.

Quarterly sales volumes were 12.6% lower than in the first quarter of 2020 when the pandemic hit China and sales were the worst since the fourth quarter of 2012 when the iPhone 5 was introduced, according to Counterpoint.

The research firm does not give unit sales estimates.

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Consumers have tightened their belts and business activity has slowed as China pursues its “zero-COVID” strategy to eradicate infections. The Shanghai Mall was closed in April-May and strict nationwide pandemic measures continue to weigh on consumer spending.

Sales of the top brands all declined year on year during the quarterly period, with the exception of Honor, which was officially spun off from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (HWT.UL) in 2021.

Honor’s market share increased from 7.7% to 18.3%, making it the second best-selling player, behind vivo. Sales, meanwhile, more than doubled.

“Honor’s coverage in lower-tier cities, which saw fewer lockdowns, helped the brand weather the turmoil of Q2 2022,” said Mengmeng Zhang, research analyst at Counterpoint.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) ranked as the fourth best-selling brand, with a 15% market share. The iPhone maker’s quarterly sales volumes fell 5.8%, a lesser blow compared to Oppo, Xiaomi (1810.HK) and vivo.

The Cupertino-based company has seen relatively stable sales in China over the past few years. Earlier this week, however, it announced discounts in China, a move it sometimes makes when sales slow.

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Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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