IDC: Apple iPhone grew 34.7% YOY in China in Q4

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Apple recorded its highest shipments in China since 2016 and was the only top 5 vendor that achieved a full-year growth. The iPhone 12 series was the main driver, while the continued demand for iPhone 11 series also supported the growth. The company’s offline partners confidently drove the iPhone 12 series, with Apple ensuring stable pricing and margins in the channels.

According to IDC, 86.4 million smartphones were shipped in China in 2020Q4, a relatively flat growth from a year ago as almost all of the top five vendors recorded a favorable growth – with the exception being Huawei. Nevertheless, the 2020 market still saw a 11.2% decline year-on-year with 325.7 million shipments.

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, Q4 2020 (shipments in millions)

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4 Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change *All figures are rounded off
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4
Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change
*All figures are rounded off

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, 2020 (shipments in millions)

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4 Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change *All figures are rounded off
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4
Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change
*All figures are rounded off

“China will see a more stable consumer demand in 2021 as the local COVID-19 cases are expected to be less impactful. Thus, a gradual market recovery is expected to be seen, along with the changes in the smartphone and upstream competition,” says Xi Wang, Research Manager for Client System Research at IDC China.

MacDailyNews Take: This IDC data corroborates recently-released Canalys’ data which also shows Apple posting stellar growth for iPhone in China with sales growth of 20% year-over-year to take 18% market share.

2 Comments

  1. It seems as though Apple investors are no longer satisfied with iPhone growth or possibly they don’t think the growth level is high enough. They’re possibly still more concerned about overall market share. It’s getting rather frightening not knowing what investor expectations are or how Apple can no longer meet those expectations. One or the other, it’s not good but Apple keeps thinking buying back shares is the solution to the problem. I hope they’re right although it doesn’t appear that way.

  2. While the shares are still low relative to their future value, it makes sense for Apple to buy them back and take them off the market, thus reducing supply and increasing demand. I wish they’d shift their strategy, though, to buy back fewer shares and increase the dividend from the same pot of money.

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