These phones helped Honor secure largest local market share

  • A new report from Counterpoint Research sees Honor claim the largest market share for smartphone shipments in SA for Q4 2023.
  • The company puts the success down to the sale of two models of smartphone in particular.
  • Honor ended Q4 2023 with 24 percent, followed by some distance by Samsung.

The South African smartphone market has been dominated in the most part by two main players – Samsung and Apple. In recent years, Huawei disrupted the pair’s success, but has since struggled to overcome challenges involving the United States.

In its stead, however, Honor appears to be thriving, especially if we look at the latest report from Counterpoint Research that tracked smartphone shipments in South Africa for Q4 2023.

To that end, Honor was the top performer, securing a 24 percent market share in terms of shipments for the final quarter of the 2023 financial year. The company was followed by some distance by Samsung at 14 percent and fellow Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi at 11 percent.

“HONOR grew the most in South Africa in 2023, reaching the second position in the market from almost no share a year ago. The brand’s growth was mainly driven by its increased focus on the market in the second half of the year. The Magic4 series and X series were its best performers. Further, the brand’s reputation improved greatly due to the availability of higher-end models from its flagship and foldable ranges,” Counterpoint noted of the brand’s performance.

From Honor’s perspective, it places the success down to two devices in particular – the 90 Lite and X6.

“The research further highlights a significant 29% year-over-year (YoY) growth in smartphone shipments in South Africa for 2023, driven by robust shipments in the second half of the year and intensified competition among Chinese OEMs, alongside numerous promotional activities by major OEMs. Additionally, 5G shipments grew 31% YoY during this time, largely driven by HONOR,” it highlighted in a release shared to Hypertext.

The success is quite intriguing as the company had another re-launch in South Africa last year with its flagship 90 5G smartphone. At the time it was the third re-launch by our count, but unlike past attempts, this one appears to be sticking.

So much so that the brand is readying to launch its first foldable – the Magic V2.

Whether the reaction to another foldable entering the market garners the same success remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Honor wants to disrupt the dominance of Samsung and Apple in South Africa, much like its former parent company did.


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