New iPhone sales in China reach nearly 18 million units in 4Q20

Max Wang, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Sales of the iPhone 12 lineup in the China market were higher than expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, reaching 18 million units for an over 20% market share, according to data available from the local media.

With the approaching of the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on February 12, market sources expect the sales momentum of the iPhone 12 will continue for a while, with shipment volumes for first-quarter 2021 to be on par with those shipped a quarter earlier.

Prior to the iPhone 12 lineup's availability in October 2020, the leading local brands, including Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, accounted for over 90% of China's handset market.

The staggering fourth-quarter iPhone 12 shipments helped push Apple's share in China's handset segment to over 20% in fourth-quarter 2020 and reduced the combined share of Chinese brands to about 78%, said the sources, citing market data.

As supply of some hot-selling models such as the iPhone 12 Pro are falling short of demand and there is a widening shortage of semiconductors for handset parts, it remains to be seen whether the overall iPhone 12 shipments would be affected.

Meanwhile, 5G phones have replaced 4G models as the mainstream in China, with their shipments totaling 160 million units in 2020, during which total smartphone shipments reached 300 million units, down 20% from a year earlier.