High Tech

The top smartphone brand in China is completely unexpected

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.

Canalys smartphones Q1 2022 China

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?

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