According to data released by Longbow Research, a research firm on March 12th, Chinese consumers’ interest in Apple’s iPhone has gradually weakened, because fewer users search for iPhones online. Longbow Research said that in February of this year, Chinese search engine Baidu’s iPhone search volume fell by 48%. Although it is slightly lower than the 50% decline in January, it is worth mentioning that this is the fifth consecutive month of decline. This means that even though Apple has taken a series of measures in China, including a sharp cut in the price of the iPhone in China’s e-commerce channel, consumer demand for the iPhone is still low.
On Tuesday, Longbow Research analyst, Shawn Harrison, said in a report: “Apple has repeatedly lowered the selling price of the iPhone, but it has not prevented the iPhone’s search trend in China from further weakening. In February, supplier sales have performed quite badly.” According to Longbow Research, Baidu’s iPhone search trend directly reflects the iPhone’s demand in China. The report stated that these search data has a 74% correlation with the annual sales of Apple iPhone in the Chinese market, and 82% of the iPhone’s shipments in China. Longbow Research further said that in February of this year, Apple’s iPhone sales in China fell by 5% year-on-year, down by more than 30% from January, and 37 of the 42 Apple suppliers reported poor iPhone sales.
On Monday, Apple announced that it will host an event on the morning of March 26, when it will launch streaming video and magazine subscriptions, as well as an entry-level iPad product. In response, analyst Shawn Harrison said that this special event will make Apple pay more attention, but he still maintains the neutral rating of Apple stock in the absence of a rebound in iPhone sales.