iPhone Sales Slump in China Despite a Significant Uptick in Smartphone Shipments

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Canalys’ latest research shows that the smartphone market in China has rebounded after two years. The smartphone shipment had a drop of 18% in 2022. The bad news is that Apple has lost its sheen in the Chinese market. The company has literally plunged from first place to fifth place despite the significant growth in the market. 

Huawei has topped the list, with Oppo trailing closely. Meanwhile, Honor, Huawei’s spin-off company, is third. Apple has slid to fifth place and is very close to Vivo’s market share. Well, numbers don’t lie; however, sometimes they can be deceptive. Huawei has topped the leaderboards with 11.7 while Apple is in fifth place with a 10 percent share. In other words, the market share gap between the top five companies is very low. Apple could easily play catch up and regain its lost position. 

Huawei has scored a staggering annual growth of 70%. Meanwhile, Apple’s sales have declined by 25% in the same period. Tim Cook recently visited China and announced a new store in Shanghai. The US sanction has banned Huawei from using Android and other Google services on its devices. Therefore, the company is heavily investing in its own HarmonyOS. 

China is one of Apple’s biggest markets outside India. The trade wars and geopolitical tension have taken a toll. In fact, Apple is diversifying its supply chain by scaling new facilities in India, Taiwan, and other countries. However, the company is still playing cozy with China. Apple recently removed Telegram from the AppStore after the Chinese government raised security concerns. 

Weak domestic consumption and rising inflation have wreaked havoc on the Chinese economy. This could be one of the reasons for the slump in iPhone sales. Furthermore, it is typical for sales to drop before a new iPhone is released. There’s a good chance that Apple sales will shoot up once the iPhone 16 is released. 


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