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The top smartphone brand in China is completely unexpected

HONOR only had 5% market share a year ago.

Published onApril 29, 2022

HONOR Magic 4 Pro Eye of Muse 2jpg
Harley Maranan / Android Authority
  • HONOR has grabbed the top spot in the Chinese smartphone market.
  • The brand wasn’t even in the top five a year ago.

Huawei was forced to sell HONOR back in November 2020 due to US sanctions, making it an independent brand in the process. Now, over a year after HONOR gained independence, the company has reportedly ascended to the top of the smartphone market in China.

A Q1 2022 market share report from Canalys showed that HONOR was the number one brand in the country, shipping 15 million units and accounting for 20% of the market. This makes for year-on-year growth of 205%, with HONOR only accounting for 5% of the market in Q1 2021. In fact, HONOR wasn’t even in the top five back then, landing at a distant sixth place.

It’s a pretty surprising turn of events given that HONOR is essentially an all-new brand on paper. However, the firm still shares some DNA with HUAWEI when looking at a few devices (e.g. the HONOR 50 series). So it’s not quite starting from scratch in some ways.

Otherwise, OPPO (18%) and Apple (18%) rounded out the podium in China. OPPO actually declined 34% compared to a year ago while Apple achieved 17% yearly growth. So Apple could theoretically threaten HONOR’s top spot if the Cupertino company can maintain momentum and if HONOR shipments slow dramatically.

vivo (16%) and Xiaomi (14%) rounded out the top five. These brands saw yearly declines of 44% and 22% respectively. In other words, HONOR and Apple were the only brands in the top five to see yearly growth.

Would you buy an HONOR phone?

1371 votes

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