Apple’s products do so well in the Chinese market. In fact, China is one of the most lucrative markets for Apple despite the huge competition. Earlier today, according to the latest report from market research firm Canalys, in the first quarter of 2022, PC (desktop, notebook, and workstation) shipments in China were 11.7 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 1%. This is coming after seven consecutive quarters of growth. Meanwhile, tablet shipments in China fell 13% year over year. Among them, iPad shipments were 1.2 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 29%. This decline is significantly greater than that of other brands. So, why is China rejecting the iPad now?
According to Canalys’ analysis, this is related to the previous rapid growth in iPad sales. In the early days of the pandemic, China’s tablet market demand surged. Its shipments hit a high point in 2020, with the iPad being the main beneficiary. As the epidemic gets under control, the market growth momentum is no longer, and iPad shipments also decline. So contrary to what many may believe, the decline in iPad sales has nothing to do with tensions between China and the U.S.
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The report also lists the Chinese market share of the above-mentioned brands of tablet computers, of which Apple ranks first, accounting for 26%, and Huawei accounts for 20%. After three-quarters of continuous growth, Xiaomi’s Pad series ranks third with a shipment of 600,000 units and a market share of 13%. Next are two Chinese manufacturers, Honor and Lenovo with 9% and 7% respectively.
In addition, Canalys mentions that the surge in tablet usage during the epidemic also provides opportunities for new suppliers. Now, smartphone brands like Oppo, Vivo, and Realme already have their own tablets. This provides more options for users.
In fact, as a tablet computer that is less frequently replaced than a mobile phone, the normal use cycle can basically be more than 3 to 4 years, or even longer. Furthermore, the price of tablets is generally not cheap. Taking Apple as an example, the starting price of the high-end flagship, Apple iPad Pro is nearly 10,000 yuan ($1499). This is close to the price of an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Even the starting price of the iPad mini is nearly 4,000 yuan ($600).
It is also worth mentioning that, whether it is iPadOS or Android tablet, at present, this category has not been able to gain a foothold in terms of office work and efficiency. In addition to the larger screen, it is not clearly differentiated from a larger flagship phone. This is one of the reasons for the slowdown in tablet sales or even “reversing”.