Apple’s iPhone Sales in China Plunge 24 Percent as Huawei’s Popularity Surges

Apple’s iPhone sales in China fell 24 percent year-on-year in the first six weeks of 2024, according to research firm Counterpoint, as the US company faced increased competition from domestic rivals such as Huawei.

The US tech giant’s chief competitor in China in premium smartphones, Huawei, saw unit sales rise by 64 percent in the period, according to the report.

This could fan fears of a slowdown in demand for the US company, whose revenue forecast for the current quarter was $6 billion (roughly Rs. 49,740 crore) below Wall Street expectations.

Shares of the iPhone maker closed 2.8 percent lower on Tuesday and have lost about 12 percent of their value so far this year, underperforming their big tech peers in the United States.

Counterpoint’s report said Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market dropped to 15.7 percent, putting it in fourth place, compared with second place in the year-ago period when it had 19 percent market share.

Huawei rose to second place as its market share expanded to 16.5 percent from 9.4 percent a year earlier. The overall smartphone market in China shrank 7 percent, the report said.

Apple “faced stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi,” Counterpoint’s senior analyst Mengmeng Zhang said.

Apple began subsidizing certain iPhone models by as much as CNY 1,300 ($180.68) last week through flagship stores on Tmall, Alibaba’s major marketplace platform.

It had already offered iPhone discounts of up to CNY 500 on its official sites last month.

Huawei has seen a resurgence in its premium smartphone sales since it released its Mate 60 series in August after struggling for years with U.S. curbs on the exports of key components to the company.

Honor, the smartphone brand spun off from Huawei in 2020, was the only other top-five brand to see unit sales increase during the first six weeks of the year, up 2 percent. Chinese brands Vivo, Xiaomi and Oppo dropped 15 percent, 7 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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