iPhone Sales Continues to Drop in China – Hits a New Record Low Since 2020


IPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple’s iPhone sales in China have experienced a decent decline, with a 19% drop in the first quarter of the year, marking the worst quarterly performance since 2020. This decline has pushed Apple down to third place in the fiercely competitive Chinese market, aligning it closely with Huawei, which saw a remarkable 70% increase in sales. The local market in China grew by approximately 1.5%, with brands like Honor and Xiaomi leading the growth trajectory. Recall that in the first six weeks of 2024, Apple also recorded a 24% decline according to Counterpoint Research.

iPhone Sales in China

Impact of Huawei’s success on iPhone sales in China

Counterpoint senior analyst Ivan Lam highlighted that Huawei’s success in the high-end market directly affected Apple’s performance, leading to a suppression of Apple’s quarterly iPhone sales in China. Huawei’s Pura 70 series, equipped with the Kirin 9010 processor and 5G support, has been a significant factor in Huawei’s success. The series addresses previous imaging hardware shortcomings by incorporating a 1-inch ultra-large bottom sensor and telescopic lens technology, enhancing its imaging capabilities while maintaining a slim design.

Huawei Pura 70 series

It is worth noting that Huawei performed outstandingly in this quarter, with a year-on-year growth of 69.7%, and its overall share hit 15.5%. Apple’s share is 15.7% thus, Huawei is on the verge of surpassing Apple. Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted that Huawei’s Pura 70 series shipments could reach tens of millions, potentially even hitting 20 million units. This forecast suggests a further erosion of Apple’s high-end market share by Huawei. Huawei’s innovative offerings and aggressive market strategies challenge Apple’s dominance in the high-end segment.

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Consumer demand for Apple replacement phones has shown a decline compared to previous years, indicating a shift in preferences or market dynamics. This change in consumer behaviour could be attributed to factors such as increased competition, evolving technology trends, and changing consumer preferences in the Chinese market.

iPhone Sales in China

Global Market Share Dynamics

While Apple’s performance in China faces challenges from local competitors like Huawei, its global market share remains competitive, closely trailing behind brands like Xiaomi. The gap between Apple and Xiaomi continues to narrow, reflecting the dynamic nature of the global smartphone market and the intense competition among leading brands.

Read Also:  Apple Resolves Major iOS Photo Bug But Questions Persist

Huawei’s mobile phone market share continues to rise steadily, with expectations of surpassing Apple soon. Counterpoint Research data indicates that Huawei’s exceptional performance in the first quarter of 2024, with a year-on-year growth of 69.7%, positions the company to overtake Apple in market share. Huawei’s overall share reached 15.5%, inching closer to Apple’s 15.7% share.

The Chinese smartphone market witnessed a 1.5% year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of 2024, marking the second consecutive quarter of positive growth. Vivo emerged as the top-selling brand in this quarter, followed by Honor and Apple. Huawei’s impressive growth trajectory signals a potential shift in the market dynamics, with the company poised to surpass Apple in market share.

Conclusion

Apple faces the challenge of regaining its foothold in the high-end segment amidst fierce competition and changing consumer preferences. The company has recorded a decline in the first quarter of this year. Apple’s main market is the flagship market, this is the same segment that Huawei is doing well at the moment. As Huawei continues to introduce new models and expand its product portfolio, the company is expected to further solidify its position in the Chinese market. The evolving competitive landscape in China’s smartphone market underscores the need for strategic innovation and market adaptation by leading brands like Apple and Huawei.

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