Apple’s smartphone unit sales in China dropped 24 per cent year-on-year in the first six weeks of 2024, with Huawei the sole big name to book significant growth for the period, Counterpoint Research statistics showed.

The research company reported Huawei’s sales were up 64 per cent, with strong demand for its Mate 60 series branded one of the only bright spots in the Chinese smartphone market during the opening weeks of the year.

It also noted significant drops for Oppo (29 per cent) and Vivo (15 per cent), in what was described as an underperformance by the pair.

As for the rest of the top six, Xiaomi was down 7 per cent while Honor’s figures showed a marginal improvement of 2 per cent.

Overall sales were down 7 per cent, it noted, without disclosing figures.

Senior analyst Mengmeng Zhang attributed Apple’s drop to “stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi”.

Counterpoint Research also noted the US company reported “abnormally high” numbers in 2023 from sales held over from late 2022 due to production issues.

It cautioned “low consumer confidence and few new launches are likely to temper growth in the short term” in China.

Counterpoint Research measures the sell-through rate.

In January, fellow research company IDC reported Apple topped the Chinese market for the first time in 2023 despite a drop in its shipments, based on sell-in data.