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A new market intelligence report says that Chinese smartphone brand Honor managed to double its year-on-year sales in Q2, and that copying iPhone features was one of the reasons for this success.
Honor was the only brand to increase its market share during the quarter, though Apple fared better than all remaining brands …
Counterpoint Research started with the bad news: the downward trend in smartphone sales seen in Q1 worsened in Q2.
China’s smartphone sales decreased 14.2% YoY in Q2 2023, according to Counterpoint’s Market Pulse report. The quarter’s volumes were 12.6% lower than the level seen during the severe pandemic-hit Q1 2023, and less than half of the historical peak of Q4 2023. The last time the sales were lower than this point was nearly a decade ago in Q4 2012, when the iPhone 5 was introduced.
This comes as no surprise given the tough economic conditions in China as the country maintains its policy of ordering city-wide lockdowns in response to tiny numbers of positive COVID-19 tests.
China’s economy merely grew 0.4% YoY in Q2 2023, lower than the market expectation of 0.8%-1%. During this period, major cities across China, including financial and manufacturing hub Pan-Shanghai, went through full or partial lockdowns. The hardest hit was the services sector, which fell into contraction territory, from 4% YoY growth in the first quarter to 0.4% in the second quarter.
The deepest decline occurred in April’s consumption data, with total retail sales of consumer goods falling 11.1% YoY. Weak consumer sentiment combined with the high smartphone penetration rate in China resulted in poor Q2 performance of smartphone sales.
Honor more than doubled its sales year-on-year, with growth of 103%, and Counterpoint said two factors were at play. First, the company has plenty of retail outlets in tier two cities, which were less badly hit by lockdowns that the largest ones.
Second, by copying iPhone features. These include face recognition and 120Hz screens.
Despite the discouraging performance in Q2 2023, major Chinese OEMs continued efforts to strengthen their positions in the high-end segment. HONOR and Xiaomi have been benchmarking their high-end models against Apple by incorporating several iPhone features […]
Major Chinese OEMs have not many options when it comes to penetrating the Apple-dominated premium segment.
Honor describes the 120Hz ProMotion-style display as an innovation.
As the adopter and innovator in the industry, HONOR firstly combines LTPO 1~120Hz adaptive refresh rate3 and 1920Hz PWM dimming technology in a smartphone display, which has been applied in HONOR Magic4 Pro. This exclusive display can deliver a truly immersive experience with less power consumption and eye strain.
While Apple was not the first company to introduce this tech, it is its use in the iPhone which seemingly made it a desirable feature.
Over Q2 as a whole, Apple saw its sales fall by 5.8%. However, with everyone else bar Honor seeing drops ranging from 23% to 44%, Apple still managed to slightly increase its market share, from 14.1% to 15.5%. This was largely attributed to the 6.18 shopping festival, Apple outperforming other brands and seeing a large chunk of its Q2 sales in June.
Apple was seemingly encouraged by the impact of discounted pricing on sales, as it later offered discounts on its official website for the first time ever.
Gradient: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash. Phone: Honor.
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The BLUboo S3. Bluboo
It’s been around the mobile landscape since 2006, but BLUboo is another company with a reputation for cloning devices (see the Samsung-inspired S8 Plus and Xiaomi-derived D5 Pro). Fortunately, one of its latest phones, the Bluboo S3, might be its best yet.
There’s a 21MP and 5MP dual camera combo on the back, a 13MP selfie camera, NFC, 64GB of expandable storage, a USB-C port, rear fingerprint scanner, 6-inch full HD+ display and a rather unique patterned back. The best feature is the battery though, coming in at a massive 8,500mAh. And yes, it’s also capable of charging your other devices.
It has a few downsides though, such as the ho-hum horsepower (MT6750T and 4GB of RAM) and lack of a headphone jack. But for a sub-$200 device, something has to give, right? However, the biggest downside (as pointed out by Android Authority reader Sned) is the misleading render used by the company.
The company’s profile curiously claims it was set up in Spain in 2013, but it’s definitely a Chinese phone brand no matter which way you cut it. Its headquarters are in Shenzhen and its full name is actually Shenzhen DOOGEE Hengtong Technology Co. Ltd..
In any event, DOOGEE made tech headlines last year with its impressive solution to the display notch. The DOOGEE Mix 4 lacks a notch, but has a slider on the back instead, popping up to reveal the front-facing camera and earpiece. And this design has since been used by the likes of Honor, Xiaomi and others. The company is guilty of a few cloned devices (the DOOGEE Mix, among others), but we quite like its varied range of handsets.
Its latest phone is the rugged DOOGEE S90 (seen above), which follows Motorola in allowing hardware add-ons. The phone’s add-ons include a low-light camera, a gamepad, and a walkie-talkie. As for core specs, you can expect a Helio P60 chipset, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, a 5,050mAh battery, a 16MP/8MP rear combo, and an 8MP front-facing shooter.
The older Hisense H11 Pro.
Hisense has more of a reputation as an appliance and TV manufacturer, but the company is also one of the more prominent Chinese phone brands around. The phones are mostly sold in the likes of Egypt, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the chúng tôi company tends to steer clear of flagship devices, releasing plenty of mid-range phones instead. It’s carved out a niche with affordable water-resistant phones like the C30 Rock and C30 Rock Lite, while also delivering the A2 Pro (featuring an e-ink display on the back).
Hisense also revealed the U30 at CES 2023, and it’s looking like a very capable smartphone. The device is said to offer a Snapdragon 675 chipset, a 48MP+5MP rear camera setup, punch-hole display, and 4,500mAh battery. Now, about a wider release…
The Oukitel K10. Oukitel
One of the first major Chinese phone brands to play the “we’ve got the biggest battery” game, the Oukitel K10 000 made tech headlines thanks to its 10,000mAh battery. Since then, the company has made a name for itself by churning out long-lasting phones.
Their most prominent device, the Oukitel K10, makes for an impressive phone at ~$300. It sports a Helio P23 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 6-inch 2,160 x 1080 18:9 display.
The list of features doesn’t stop there, as you also get an 11,000mAh battery, four cameras in total (21MP and 8MP on the back and 13MP and 8MP for selfies), USB-C support, an NFC chip, and a leather back. It unfortunately runs Android 7.1, though.
One of the more established Chinese phone brands, Ulefone has consistently delivered a variety of budget-priced smartphones. On the odd occasion, the company also serves up budget wares inspired by others (like the Ulefone Mix and Mix 2).
Ulefone has a few solid phones available, with the Armor 6 being its latest high-profile device. A rugged phone with IP68 and MIL-STD 810G ratings, the phone packs a Helio P60 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 13MP/21MP rear camera setup, and a 5,000mAh battery with wireless charging.
The phone’s spec sheet doesn’t stop there, as it’s also offering NFC, a rear fingerprint scanner, and a UV sensor to warn users of sunburn risk. Ulefone’s device is available for $360 at the time of writing, but it usually has a $460 price tag, the manufacturer claims.
PCWorld readers like their iPhones. More survey participants own this model than any other phone, and an unusually high proportion of them praised its durability, ease-of-use, design, and camera quality in our 2011 Reliability and Service survey. HTC phones scored well in those areas, too. But readers had little good to say about LG and Samsung phones, finding fault with their phones’ ease of use and with features such as design, touchscreen responsiveness, and overall speed.
Highlighted in the first three charts below are our survey participants’ ratings of smartphone manufacturers in three general areas: reliability, ease of use, and features. The final two charts focus on cell phone carriers in two critical areas: wireless service quality and customer service. All of these results are drawn from our 2011 Reliability and Service survey of some 63,000 PCWorld readers. The other product categories covered in this survey were desktop PCs, laptop PCs, tablets, HDTVs, printers, and digital cameras. For a closer look at the methodology we used in our survey to gauge manufacturer reliability and customer satisfaction, see “Reliability and Satisfaction: What the Measures Mean.”Notes and Quotes
• The percentage of Motorola phone users participating in our survey who reported a problem with their phone has grown from 21.7 percent in 2010 to 31.3 percent in 2011.
• Over the past two years, 32.5 percent of Samsung phone owners in our survey say that they have encountered a significant problem with their phone.
• Satisfaction with battery life varied widely among users of different manufacturers’ phones. The vendors that received the highest marks (“extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied”) in our survey are as follows (in descending order): Nokia (49.5 percent), Apple (47.1 percent), RIM (45.4 percent), LG (36.6 percent), Samsung (28.9 percent), Motorola (28.6 percent), and HTC (23.1 percent).
• In the smartphone category as a whole, three out of four phones were trouble-free, according to survey participants.
• Among smartphone users who did encounter problems, however, two out of five couldn’t resolve their problem through carrier support.
• Though satisfaction with the ease of use of smartphones industrywide has improved from 59 percent in our 2009 survey to 63 percent in our 2011 survey, the numbers for RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones have actually regressed, from 55 percent in 2009 to 47 percent in 2011.
• The most frequently broken or dead components of a smartphone, according to our survey respondents, are (in descending order) the operating system (32.6 percent), the battery 12.3 percent), the touchscreen (12.2 percent), the microphone or speaker (6.1 percent), the GPS device (4.0 percent), Bluetooth (3.7 percent), the physical keyboard (3.3 percent), the display screen (2.8 percent), and the power port (1.9 percent).
• “The iPhone 4 is a great device that performs and does what it says it will do. If there is a problem, Apple stands behind it 100% with great phone support.” –iPhone owner
• “Between Samsung’s slow pace to roll out OS upgrades, the email client imploding, and Android’s poorly thought out backup, I think I’ve had enough.” –Samsung Android phone owner
• “I’m concerned about RIM’s longevity on the market. I’ll probably look at HTC or Samsung next.” –BlackBerry phone ownerReliability
Two smartphone manufacturers received better-than-average marks for reliability from our survey participants in 2011: Apple collected pluses on all four reliability measures, and LG beat the rest of the field on two of the four (“any significant problem” and “severe problem”). At the other end of the speed dial, three vendors got clocked with subpar scores on three of the four measures: Palm’s only saving grace was an average mark for “severe problem”; RIM’s best showing was an average mark for “problem on arrival”; and Samsung’s high point was an average score for “severe problem.”iPhones Most Reliable, According to Survey Participants
BRANDProblem on arrivalAny significant problemSevere problemSatisfaction with reliability Apple
Better than average Average Worse than averageEase of Use
When our readers appraised their phones’ ease of use, they once again pointed to Apple as the best-of-breed smartphone manufacturer. On our five ease-of-use measures, the iPhone family earned five better-than-average ratings. The only other vendor with a net positive mark was HTC, which scored better than average on “internet browsing” and “overall ease of use,” and didn’t trip up on any of the other measures. The only other better-than-average score in our survey was Motorola’s for “internet browsing”–but regrettably Motorola’s ranking plummeted as a result of worse-than-average marks for “phone setup,” “data syncing,” and “music/video location and playback.”
Pushed down, no doubt, by Apple’s dominant showing, four companies walked away with negatives on at least three measures and no positives to serve as counterweights: Nokia (three worse-than-average marks), RIM (four), LG (five), and Samsung (five).LG, Samsung Phones Get Poor Marks for Ease of Use
BRANDPhone setupInternet browsingData syncingMusic/video location and playbackOverall ease of use Apple
Better than average Average Worse than averageFeatures
If it weren’t for an average score for “call quality,” the iPhone family would have grabbed better-than-average scores across the board on our smartphone features measures; as it is, Apple finished at the upper end on 10 of the 11 criteria. Also finishing in the black overall is HTC which overcame a subpar rating for “battery life” to capture second place, with seven better-than-average marks. The other four better-than-average scores went to Motorola (for “GPS capability” and “operating system”), Nokia (for “battery life”), and RIM (for “battery life”) –but multiple negatives torpedoed their overall standing.
Scraping bottom on the smartphone features front were Samsung (with seven negatives and no positives) and LG (with eight and none). As elsewhere in the smartphone results, the combination of an extra-large slice of the market and radiant customer reviews for Apple probably makes its rivals–especially toward the lower end–look worse than they really are.iPhone Owners Happiest With Smartphone Features
Better than average Average Worse than averageCarriers: Calls and Data Speed
Presented with a small population of nationwide mobile phone services, our readers rated one–Verizon–as better than average on both of our surveys service-quality measures (“speed and reliability of mobile broadband” and “reliability and sound quality of voice calls”) and one–AT&T–as worse than average.Verizon Is Tops for Both Calls and Data Speed, Readers Say
CARRIERSpeed and reliability of mobile broadbandReliability and sound quality of voice calls Verizon Wireless
AT&TCarriers: Customer Service
On our service and support measures for carriers, AT&T (for “average in-person service rating”) and Verizon (for “overall service rating”) notched the only two better-than-average marks. we didn’t identify any subpar scores on these measures, indicating that the carriers are tightly bunched in most respects, with no significant laggards on any particular criterion.No Standouts in Customer Service From Carriers
CARRIERAverage phone hold timeAverage phone support ratingAverage in-person service ratingProblem was never resolvedOverall service rating AT&T
Better than average Average Worse than average
N/A = Not available (too few responses to rate the company on this measure).
Earlier this year, Apple temporarily closed its stores in China because of the new coronavirus epidemic. Of course, it led to a sudden drop in iPhone sales. Later, after gradually resuming production in China, the Apple retail stores reopened.
Also Read: iPhone Sales Fell Sharply In April: Plummeted 77%
However, analysts still warned that the technology giant may face some challenges in China’s most important market.What iPhone Sales Do Research Companies Predict?
Data compiled by multiple companies shows that Apple has been getting better and better since February this year. Affected by the closure of the stores, iPhone sales in China fell by 60% year-on-year in February this year. By mid-March, all stores in China had reopened.
According to data from CINNO Research, Apple sold 3.9 million iPhones in China in April, up 160% from 1.56 million in March.
Another data from IDC shows Apple’s April-sell-in shipments were about 3 million units, an increase of about 30% from the previous month. Sell-in shipments refer to the number of iPhones Apple sells to Chinese retail partners and can be used to measure future demand.Gizchina News of the week
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WPIC pointed out that the number of products sold by Apple through the Tmall official flagship store in April this year increased by 40% year-on-year to $127.4 million. iPhone sales through Tmall increased by 33% month-on-month, exceeding $80 million.
At the same time, there are signs that Apple’s service revenue has improved as well. Although Apple has many services such as Apple Music and iCloud, it can currently only be estimated based on the Chinese consumer spending of the App Store. According to data from Sensor Tower, this April figure was $1.53 billion, an increase of 7% from the previous month.
However, a number of data indicate that Apple’s business in China is gradually improving. But analysts warned that the company may face resistance in the coming months. It’s conditioned by a few reasons.1. iPhone SE short-term effects
Apple released the second-generation iPhone SE in mid-April this year, which was then sold in China. This product’s price starts at 3299 yuan ($462).
CINNO said that although the iPhone SE went on sale at the end of April this year, it accounted for 24% of Apple’s total sales of 3.9 million iPhones in April.
In its turn, IDC said that the iPhone SE accounted for about 8% of shipments in April.
In addition, there are also concerns that the epidemic may impact the Chinese economy in the second half of the year, thereby affecting consumer spending.2. China’s 5G market
At the same time, after China began to deploy 5G networks at the end of last year, 5G smartphones began to develop rapidly in China. This new generation of mobile networks can provide ultra-high speeds.
Many Chinese manufacturers including Huawei and Xiaomi have launched 5G smartphones, but Apple has not yet released 5G phones. According to Counterpoint Research’s calculations, 5G equipment is expected to account for 40% of China’s total smartphone sales in 2023. So this matter will have a great impact.
If Apple does not launch 5G smartphones, consumers may choose products from other manufacturers (or wait for Apple to launch new models before buying).
Honor decided to share some behind-scenes stages of the development of the Honor Magic5 Pro. The goal is to demonstrate how they’ve reached the phone’s level of quality through multiple stages of polishment. Also, we can clearly see how the brand worked hard since its reboot to meet world quality testing standards. Without further ado, let’s check the behind-the-scenes development of the flagship.The Honor Magic5 Pro Falcon Camera System is the result of 18 months of development
The Falcon Camera System is the result of multiple efforts to build a solid camera R&D department at Honor’s HQ. The brand founded its own dedicated camera labs to conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis that informs the development of camera systems. In its labs, the company spent about 18 months making a massive overhaul of the Honor Image Engine. In fact, it has been rebuilt from the ground. It features all-new architecture, source code, and algorithms to match Qualcomm’s mobile platform. The company worked hard to ensure that the Honor Magic5 Pro camera system will benefit from Qualcomm’s AI features.
Since the Honor Magic5 Pro boasts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Honor worked closely with Qualcomm to leverage the phone’s camera with all the AI features coming with the SoC. With a larger data cache interval and a solid AI Network, the brand trained the Falcon Camera System with more than 270,000 images.The Circadian Display
The phone’s Circadian Night Display brings a sleep-easing mode that regulates the blue light and gently transitions the night-time color temperature in a natural way. As per Honor’s lab tests, the feature can increase melatonin secretion by up to 20% within three hours. In the end, it will help users to get a better night’s sleep.
Similar to the Falcon Camera System, the brand labs also achieved this improvement through years of testing. The brand collected data from more than 10,000 users to build the best display-dimming tech. With the research, the brand was able to develop its Dynamic Dimming Feature. It can lower eye fatigue by 18% after 45 minutes of use.Honor’s efforts to join the Highest Global Standard of Product Quality
The Honor Magic5 Pro is no doubt a very impressive product fruit of multiple rounds of development. The company certainly wanted to make this an example of its commitment to quality for users. In fact, the brand invested about $20 million in quality testing equipment. Now the brand can run in-house tests to verify more than 200 certification test standards. The brand goes is to go even beyond the standards to ensure the bests product quality for its users.Honor Magic5 Pro specs recap
To those unaware, the Honor Magic5 Pro boasts a gorgeous 6.81-inch LTPO OLED screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, and 2,848 x 1,312 pixels of resolution. Under the hood, the phone packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. In terms of optics, the Falcon Camera system brings three 50 MP cameras. There is a main 50 MP unit with OIS, a 50 MP periscope shooter with 3.5x optical zoom and 100x hybrid zoom, and a 50 MP ultrawide snapper. The device has a 12 MP ultrawide shooter plus a ToF 3D sensor for biometrics and depth.
Honor’s flagship boasts a 5,100 mAh battery with 66W fast charging and 50W wireless charging. In China, the brand also sells the world’s first unit with a Silicon-carbon battery of 5,450 mAh capacity. The flagship sells for about £949.99. in the UK. For more details about the device, you can check our Review Here.
The iPhone X may be the most elegant and beautifully designed iPhone in years, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. While most users have no complaints about the iPhone X itself, there are some frustrations and annoyances that can continually pop-up for some iPhone X owners.
Among the most common iPhone X hassles are accidentally dialing 911, accidentally taking screenshots of the lock screen, and accidentally activating Apple Pay at the lock screen. Notably, each of these issues relates to the myriad functions assigned to the Power / Lock button, depending on how it is pressed.
But don’t be annoyed, because each of complaints can usually be fixed (or addressed), as we’ll show you with a few simple settings adjustments and tips.1: Fix for Accidental Emergency Calls on iPhone
Some users have found that the new Emergency SOS feature is easy to accidentally trigger, which means your iPhone X could be in your pocket dialing 911 accidentally. The solution to this is disabling Emergency SOS 911 auto-call on iPhone X:
Open the “Settings” app on iPhone and go to “Emergency SOS”
Disable “Call with side button” and disable “Auto Call”
By turning off those settings you’ll no longer have the Emergency SOS feature accessible by pressing the side button, meaning you’ll have to dial 911 the old fashioned way, or use the Emergency Call feature on the iPhone lock screen.2: Fix for Accidental Apple Pay Access at Lock Screen of iPhone
The Power button on iPhone X serves many purposes, including offering an ability to summon Apple Pay. This means that, if you’re like myself and many other iPhone X users, you may be constantly summoning Apple Pay when all you meant to do was turn on the screen, or unlock the device, or bring up Siri, or force reboot, or perform other tasks requiring using the power button. Perhaps the best solution for accidentally summoning Apple Pay is to disable Apple Pay access by double-pressing the power button at the lock screen:
Go to the “Settings” app and then choose “Wallet & Apple Pay”
Of course if you regularly use Apple Pay and don’t want to manually open the Wallet app on your iPhone, or use an Apple Watch for Apple Pay, this may not be an option for you.3: Dealing with Frequent Accidental Screenshots at Lock Screen of iPhone
There is no easy way to resolve the constant accidental screenshots that many iPhone X users encounter. Aside from trying to train yourself to hold your iPhone differently, the next best solution is to simply visit “Screenshots” album and delete the screenshots you accidentally capture:
Open the “Photos” app on the iPhone and then go to ‘Albums’
Choose the “Screenshots” album, then tap the “Select” button and manually tap on every single accidental screenshot you’ve taken (if they’re all accidental use this gesture trick to easily select many photos at once on the iPhone)
Tap the Trash can icon, then tap to confirm “Delete Photos” to remove the accidental screenshots
Unfortunately you’ll have to repeat this process every once in a while, as there’s not much you can do about this one right now other than try to hold your iPhone X in a different manner.
It’s worth noting that iOS 12 introduces a minor software change that can improve the accidental screenshot problem at the lock screen at least, so that may help some users to mitigate the accidental screenshot issue.3 Other iPhone X Complaints
The aforementioned trio tends to make up the majority of iPhone X complaints, and the good news is those issues are all software related so are pretty easy to fix… but there are some other complaints that surface from time to time that are perhaps worth mentioning as well, even if there is no perfect solution to them.4: No Touch ID or Home Button
The lack of a Home button can bother some iPhone X users, whether it’s because they like the tactile feel of a Home button to press, or perhaps because they liked Touch ID. Some may even prefer Touch ID over Face ID.
While you can use Assistive Touch to create a digital onscreen Home button on iPhone X, that’s more of a workaround then a solution. It’s really best to get accustomed to the swipe-up gesture that returns to the Home Screen.5: The Screen Notch
The screen notch is a prominent black section on the top of the iPhone X screen that houses the front speaker, front camera, the Face ID sensors, and lighting detectors. Most iPhone X users don’t care about The Notch at the top of the screen, or if they do they get over The Notch pretty quickly and forget that it even exists, but some continue to be annoyed by it.
If you’re obsessing about The Notch then your only real option is to get over it and realize that it’s a silly thing to care about use a wallpaper that hides The Notch by trying to blend it into the wallpaper color. Usually anything with a black section at the top, or a very dark top works great for the purpose of masking the screen notch.
Of course it’s not just iPhone X that has a screen notch though, and many Android phones also include the notch as well, including the Motorola P30 and Xiaomi Mi8, so if you’re annoyed with it on one device, be prepared to be annoyed with it on many other phones too. And most rumors point to the next generation iPhone models as having a screen notch too, so.6: The Lack of a 3.5mm Audio Port
Apple may have first removed the 3.5mm audio jack from the iPhone 7 series, but the frustration with losing the most ubiquitous audio interface ever to exist in history remains for many users with iPhone X, and presumably will carry into the future as it’s highly unlikely that Apple will ever create a new iPhone with the headphone jack ever again.
If the lack of the 3.5mm audio port and headphone jack bothers you, the only real solution is to buy a dongle adapter (or several) and take it around with you, or buy a few and leave them where you might need them; in the car, at your home and office, in a laptop bag, etc.
It’s pretty likely that the issues mentioned above will pertain to future iPhone models too, since rumors and leaks suggest that next generation iPhone models will largely look like variations of iPhone X. But those are just rumors, and anything can happen or change.
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