Huawei Surges to Second Place in Early 2024, Poised to Claim Top Spot in Chinese Smartphone Market This Year

Data from the initial months of 2024 indicates that Huawei is poised to reclaim its position as the leading smartphone vendor in China.

By March 1, the cumulative sales of Huawei’s Mate60 series and Mate X5 (foldable screen) have surpassed 10 million units. These models, introduced by Huawei in the latter half of the previous year, particularly the Mate60 series equipped with 5G-capable Kirin chips (a 7nm chip), have generated significant market demand.

According to the latest report released by Counterpoint Research, in the first six weeks of 2024, while the overall smartphone sales in China decreased by 7% year-on-year, Huawei’s smartphone sales increased by 64% year-on-year, capturing 17% of the market share.

This makes Huawei as the second leading smartphone seller in China, only 1 percentage point behind top-ranked Vivo.

The Sudden Decline of Huawei Smartphone

In 2019, Huawei’s global smartphone market sales reached 240 million units, positioning the Chinese company close to securing the top spot as the world’s largest smartphone vendor at one point.

Impacted by U.S. sanctions that barred Huawei from accessing advanced chips, Huawei’s smartphone business dramatically collapsed. By 2022, Huawei shipped only 28 million units after the company spun off its mid-range Honor brand. In just a few years, Huawei shifted from nearly approaching the global top spot to trailing far behind major companies, slipping to around the tenth position.

The release of Huawei’s Mate60 series last August, equipped with a 5G chip manufactured with a process comparable to advanced 7nm chips, proved to be a turning point for the company. In the third quarter of last year, Huawei’s sales ranking increased by 37% year-on-year, with market share rising to 12.9%, placing Huawei as the sixth-largest vendor domestically.

By the fourth quarter, as production capacity continued to be released, Huawei’s sales ranking rose to third place, with sales increasing by 71% year-on-year, and market share reaching 15.2%.

A Steller 2024 for Huawei?

The upward trend continues this year for Huawei. Market data shows that Huawei has claimed the top position in smartphone sales in the first two weeks of 2024 briefly in China.

Over the first six weeks of 2024, Huawei’s smartphone sales increased by 64% compared to the same period last year (a low base), capturing a 17% market share, trailing the market leader Vivo by only 1 percentage point.

Given Huawei’s momentum, the market widely believes that in 2024, Huawei will once again become the top smartphone vendor in China.

Huawei’s mid-end Nova 12 series, equipped with Huawei’s Kirin processors with 5G support, were launched last December and are expected to contribute to Huawei’s increased phone shipments.

According to Tianyancha, Huawei applied to register a new trademark "Xingyao Smartphone" in March 2023, which is believed to potentially replace the mid-range smartphone business of Huawei’s Honor brand.


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