CEO Morning Brief

Apple's 1Q Smartphone Shipments in China Tumble 19%, Data Shows

Publish date: Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 09:43 PM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

BEIJING (April 23): Apple's smartphone shipments in China tumbled 19% in the first quarter of the year, the worst performance since 2020, as its dominance in the high-end segment came under pressure from Huawei's new product launches, market data showed.

Apple's share in the world's biggest smartphone market fell to 15.7% in the first quarter from 19.7% a year earlier. That put it almost level with Huawei, which saw sales jump 70%, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Apple lost its crown as the biggest smartphone seller in China to rival Vivo, sliding to third place in the quarter, followed by Huawei whose market share jumped to 15.5% from 9.3% a year earlier. Honor, a mass market brand spun out of Huawei, was in second place.

"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," said Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam in the press release.

"For the second quarter, the possibility of new color options combined with aggressive sales initiatives could bring the brand back into positive territory," Lam said, adding it is seeing slow but steady improvement in weekly iPhone sales.

Throughout the first quarter, Apple launched campaigns to entice consumers with discounts, including subsidizing certain iPhone models by as much as 1,300 yuan (RM860).

Huawei last week released its Pura 70 series of high-end phones after launching the Mate 60 series in August. The Mate 60 was seen as a comeback for the Chinese firm in the high-end market and described as a triumph over US sanctions on the company, as the handsets contain an advanced China-made chip.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Sunday that the chip powering Huawei's flagship phone is not as advanced as American chips, arguing it showed US curbs on shipments to the telecoms equipment giant are working.

Canadian research firm TechInsights expects overall shipments in China this year to top 50 million units, including 10 million for the Pura 70 series. That would make Huawei the No. 1 seller with a 19% market share, up from 12% in 2023.

In the first quarter, China's smartphone market grew 1.5%, marking the second consecutive quarter of positive growth, according to Counterpoint.

Source: TheEdge - 24 Apr 2024

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