HarmonyOS Surpasses Apple’s iOS in China for the First Time

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In a landmark achievement, Huawei’s HarmonyOS has surpassed Apple’s iOS to become the second-largest mobile operating system in China.

This development, reported by Counterpoint Research, marks a significant shift in the Chinese smartphone market dynamics.

According to the report, HarmonyOS’s market share in China surged from 8% in the first quarter of 2023 to 17% in the first quarter of 2024. In contrast, iOS’s share declined from 20% to 16% during the same period. This is the first time since Q1 2019 that iOS has experienced a drop in market share during the first quarter in China.

The substantial growth of HarmonyOS is partly attributed to the release of new 5G smartphones by Huawei, which have been positioned as direct competitors to Apple’s products. The increased adoption of HarmonyOS is also driven by Huawei’s focus on enhancing its ecosystem and localizing its supply chain.

Globally, HarmonyOS has also seen a notable increase in market share, doubling year-on-year to reach 4% in Q1 2024. Meanwhile, Android and iOS experienced slight declines in their global shares, dropping from 78% and 20% in Q1 2023 to 77% and 19%, respectively. Despite these global trends, Android showed a month-on-month rebound in Q1 2024, although iOS saw a decrease from 23% in Q4 2023 to 19% in Q1 2024, which Counterpoint attributes to seasonal fluctuations typical of iPhone release cycles.

One of the key factors behind HarmonyOS’s growth is its strong 5G adoption rate. Counterpoint’s data indicates that 5G adoption for HarmonyOS increased from 9% in Q1 2023 to an impressive 50% in Q1 2024. This robust adoption is expected to continue as Huawei emphasizes localizing its supply chain.

These findings are consistent with a forecast report by TechInsights released in January 2024, which predicted that HarmonyOS would overtake iOS to become the second-largest smartphone operating system in China by the end of the year.

This milestone highlights a significant moment for Huawei and HarmonyOS, reflecting the increasing competitiveness of the Chinese tech giant in both domestic and international markets. As Huawei continues to innovate and expand its market presence, the dynamics of the global mobile operating system landscape may continue to evolve​

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