A new report by Counterpoint Research shows only one overseas smartphone maker made it into China’s top ten best-selling handsets list of 2017: Apple. The Cupertino firm found that two of its devices were extremely popular among the country's citizens—one of them almost took the number one spot.
Chinese consumers appear to be fans of large-screen devices, which may explain how the iPhone 7 Plus, which was released in September 2016, took 2.8 percent of all sales in the country’s market last year. It marginally lost out on the number one place to the Oppo R9S, which gained a 3 percent share.
Sales of Apple’s handset were boosted in the second half of the year thanks to a price cut following the launch of the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X—the iPhone 7 Plus with 128GB storage got a 16% reduction, lowering its price to $900.
The standard iPhone 7 also made the top ten. It came in fifth place, thanks to a 2.4 percent market share. The rest of the list was made up of devices from Chinese brands Vivo, Honor, and Xiaomi.
"iPhone 7 Plus performed better than iPhone 7, demonstrating that currently in China market price may not be the only concern among consumers. Apple users may value more on better specs [...] than extra budget," said Counterpoint analyst James Yan.
China is the biggest smartphone market in the world in terms of sales volume, and Apple is the fifth best-selling phone company in the country, according to IDC. While it remains behind Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, Apple’s position could improve once sales of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X are taken into account in the Q4 results.