Honor becomes the TOP smartphone brand in China!

China's top smartphone brands 2023 Q3
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Honor Ad

There are two major heavyweights in the global smartphone scene — Samsung, and Apple. However, the landscape is entirely different in the People’s Republic of China. The competition among the smartphone manufacturers is much more fiercer there. And, according to a recent report from Canalys, Honor has become the top smartphone brand in China. Let’s discuss further, shall we?

HONOR — the “top” smartphone brand in China

Who this?

Firstly, let’s talk about Honor briefly. So, initially, Honor was a sub-brand of Huawei. The devices both these companies offered were similar down to the teeth. However, there was one major differentiating factor — the aesthetic. Huawei usually went with minimal and professional design, targeting a wider audience. Whereas, Honor had more flair, was all about the fashion statement, and targeted a younger cohort.

Huawei and Honor

Things went south after the US imposed a trade ban on Huawei citing various reasons. This led to a rapid downfall of Huawei and in order to deal with the situation they sold off Honor to Shenzen Zhixin New Information Technology in late 2020. This gave Honor a separate identity. And, since then the two brands even compete with each other in their home market.

Let’s talk graphs

Canalys recently released its report on Mainland China’s smartphone market till the end of the third quarter of 2023. And, as per the report, Honor is leading the pack with 11.8 million smartphone shipments and an 18% market share. OPPO, Apple, and Vivo follow suit — all of them capturing 16% of total sales each. Similarly, Xiaomi and Huawei come after them at nearly 10% occupancy.

How is Honor on top?

The graph shows very tough competition and constant change in rankings of these smartphone companies over time. The scenario is completely different from the global scene — where Samsung, and Apple cover anywhere from a third to half of the total smartphone sales. Meanwhile, it is speculated that Honor came out on top this time due to the introduction of its three new foldable offerings. In the meantime, Apple saw a drop in demand, probably due to China banning iPhones for government officials. This probably favoured Honor in one way or another.


Even though Honor is the top smartphone brand in China right now, it doesn’t really mean much. If we look at the graph earlier, the top spot is occupied by a different company in every other quarter. Given that Honor doesn’t have a substantial gap with its closest competitor, it will more than likely be outpaced by some other smartphone manufacturer in the next quarter.

  • Meanwhile, check out our review of the Honor 90: