Apple iPhone sales drop 19% in China

A recent report from Counterpoint Research reveals a dramatic drop in phone sales across China during the first quarter of this year, primarily due to fierce competition from domestic powerhouse Huawei.

Counterpoint’s data highlights a notable 19.1% decline in iPhone sales for Apple during this period, contrasting sharply with Huawei’s resurgence in the smartphone market. The Shenzhen-based company witnessed an impressive 69.7% surge in smartphone sales, propelled by the successful launch of its Mate 60 series featuring cutting-edge 5G technology.

Huawei’s remarkable comeback comes after facing substantial hurdles following U.S. sanctions imposed in 2019, severely impacting its access to crucial technologies. However, with the unveiling of innovative devices like the Mate 60, Huawei has swiftly reclaimed its position as the fourth-largest smartphone maker in China, intensifying pressure on competitors like Apple.

In response to Huawei’s resurgence, Apple faces challenges in the premium segment of the market, as indicated by Ivan Lam, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research. Lam suggests that while Apple’s sales have been subdued, the company could potentially stage a recovery with strategic moves such as introducing new color options, offering aggressive discounts, and unveiling AI features at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

Despite the overall dip in phone sales, Counterpoint predicts modest year-on-year growth for China’s smartphone market in 2024. This positive outlook is attributed to the integration of advanced AI features by Chinese smartphone makers, driving renewed demand for mobile devices. Companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei spinoff Honor are at the forefront of this trend, incorporating AI advancements into their flagship and mid-range smartphones, thus shaping the future landscape of China’s dynamic smartphone industry.

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