After Losing the Top Spot Internationally, iPhone Sales Drop by 1/5th in China, Worst Since COVID

iPhone SE 4

Apple saw a huge decline in iPhone sales in China during the first quarter of 2024. According to Counterpoint Research, sales fell 19% compared to the same period in 2023, which makes the company’s weakest performance in the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine if COVID had not been hit; I believe the reference point would’ve been much back in the past. 

This decline comes despite the first quarter traditionally being a strong sales period in China due to the Lunar New Year holiday, especially after Apple offered unusually high discounts in China for this year’s Lunar New Year. 

Apple’s ranking within the Chinese smartphone market slipped, placing it third behind local brands Honor and Xiaomi and roughly on par with resurgent competitor Huawei. Huawei’s sales, in contrast, surged nearly 70% during the quarter.

Analysts attribute it to a couple of factors: 

  • The ongoing trade tensions between the US and China may be hindering sales of American products in state-backed firms and government agencies, especially after the government has limited employee use of Apple devices.
  • Huawei’s recent introduction of a domestically produced chip, circumventing US sanctions, has fueled consumer interest in their return to prominence within the premium smartphone market, a segment previously dominated by Apple.

January’s special sales efforts clearly proved insufficient to counteract the competition. Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam suggests that 

Apple’s sales were subdued during the quarter as Huawei’s comeback has directly impacted Apple in the premium segment. Besides, the replacement demand for Apple has been slightly subdued compared to previous years.

Not just China, the company’s global iPhone shipments also fell nearly 10% in the first quarter, dethroned from the first spot by none other than Samsung. 

More here.

One thought on “After Losing the Top Spot Internationally, iPhone Sales Drop by 1/5th in China, Worst Since COVID

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.