Following a turbulent smartphone market in 2022 caused by low consumer demand, high inventory and COVID-19-related factors, the Chinese smartphone market has recorded a good start in the new year, according to data from Counterpoint.

In the first five weeks of 2023, the average weekly sales during the period were 6.7 million units, much higher than the average of 5.5 million units in 2022. In four out of five weeks, the sales stayed above 6 million – a level seldom reached in 2022 and reached above 7 million before the week the Chinese New Year season started.

Although these sales only showed a little year-on-year growth, it reflects a recovery in the market that has continued to take hits over several quarters.

Source: Counterpoint

The improvement was tied to the restoration of normal social activities in the country after the COVID-19 wave in December, and the Chinese New Year season which started earlier than usual this year, helping the weekly sales walk out of the trough at the beginning of 2023.

While the improved performance promises recovery in the market, industry vendors are still sceptical that this is a solid enough indicator to confirm an industry rebound and remain cautious about restocking their inventories.