China’s Singles Day Smartphone Sales: Xiaomi and Huawei Sells More than Apple


Apple (AAPL.O) experienced a decrease in the number of smartphones sold during China’s recent Singles Day shopping festival. The information comes directly from Counterpoint Research (Source). This contrasts with domestic competitors Huawei and Xiaomi, which reported substantial increases in sales during the event. Apple experienced a 4% year-on-year decline in smartphones sold during the two-week sales period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 12, according to data from the research consultancy Counterpoint Research. In contrast, Huawei and Xiaomi experienced significant growth, with a 66% and 28% year-on-year increase in the number of units sold during the same period.

Apple sees a significant decline during the Singles Day Sale, Xiaomi and Huawei see improvement

The notable increases in smartphone sales for Huawei and Xiaomi contributed to a 5% year-over-year growth in the overall number of Chinese smartphones sold during the Singles Day promotion period, as reported by Counterpoint Research.

The pricing for Apple’s latest iPhone 15 model begins at 5,999 yuan ($832), whereas Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphones have a starting price of 5,499 yuan ($763). Xiaomi’s latest Mi 14 smartphone is priced at 3,999 yuan ($555).

Sales Record of Products at China Singles Day Festival China Singles Day

Sales figures for China’s e-commerce giants, including Alibaba and JD.com, were not disclosed. However, JD.com mentioned that the transaction volume value of Apple products on its platform exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.39 billion) during the Singles Day period. A spokesperson from Xiaomi stated that the company achieved a cumulative gross merchandise value of over 22.4 billion yuan during the Singles Day shopping extravaganza.

The Chinese market is positioned for a rebound

Analysts have indicated that the Chinese smartphone market is poised for a rebound. Research firm IDC anticipates year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter. It marks a turnaround after ten consecutive quarters of declining shipments. Intense competition among smartphone models heightened before the annual shopping gala. The major Chinese e-commerce platforms provided substantial discounts on Apple’s iPhones throughout the sales period.

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Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 series in late September. It was nearly a month after Huawei launched the Mate 60 smartphone line. The Mate series was powered by Huawei’s independently developed advanced chip. The Mate 60 series has garnered substantial patriotic support in China, with enthusiasts expressing that it demonstrates how Huawei successfully navigated years of export controls imposed by the United States, initially challenging its smartphone business.

What Could Explain Apple’s Decline During the Singles Day Sale?

China Singles Day

Xiaomi introduced its flagship Mi 14 smartphone series in late October. CEO Lei Jun announced that sales for the new line had exceeded 1 million units shortly after its release. Counterpoint analysts attributed Apple’s sluggish performance during the Singles Day festival not only to competition from domestic rivals. It also involves the supply chain issues that greatly limited the availability of its new iPhone 15 models.

Ivan Lam, Senior Analyst for Manufacturing at Counterpoint, noted, “Apple is improving compared to last month, but there still seem to be hiccups in terms of supply.” He expressed the expectation that the supply situation for Apple will normalize soon.

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Conclusion

According to the research conducted by reliable Counterpoint and IDC, Apple saw a significant decline during the Singles Day Sale season. The exact reasons are still being analyzed. However, the limited availability of the new iPhone 15 could be among the reasons. On the other hand, it was a surprise to see the rise of Huawei. The Chinese brand is finally recovering after years of decline. This could be explained by the rise of new Huawei smartphones with modern hardware and 5G connectivity. Xiaomi also keeps a decent track and the recently released Xiaomi 14 series. These devices arrived as some of the first devices featuring the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. It certainly helped the brand to be very appealing when compared to the competition.

About the Singles Day Sale Event in China:

Originally a 24-hour online shopping event held on Nov. 11 each year in China, the Singles Day festival has expanded into weeks of promotions across the country’s major e-commerce platforms and in brick-and-mortar stores. Currently, it’s considered the Chinese Black Friday. Many users wait with great anticipation for this sales event.

Influence of China’s Singles Day Festival on Smartphone Sales

China’s Singles Day shopping festival holds immense significance as a key indicator for the smartphone market, particularly for global giants like Apple. The event’s impact extends beyond individual brands, offering valuable insights into consumer trends and shaping the trajectory of the smartphone industry. With notable shifts observed in sales dynamics during the festival, Singles Day serves as a crucial annual benchmark, influencing the overall landscape of smartphone consumption and market competitiveness.

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