Apple smartphone shipments plunge in China

14 February, 2019, 07:22 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Apple iPhone shipments decline in China as Huawei tightens grip in its home market

The US tech giant said revenue from iPhones declined 15 percent from the year-earlier period.

Huawei, which briefly surpassed Apple to become the world's No. 2 smartphone brand past year, led all major brands in China. In addition, overall shipments for China fell by 9.7% to 103 million units, highlighting the falling demand in the world's largest smartphone market.

Apple blamed falling smartphone sales in China for its weaker than anticipated holiday earnings past year, and now new data indicates that the iPhone suffered more than most in the East.

To address the fall, Apple has suggested it will offer new financing and phone replacement services, while the iPhone XR could be discounted in some markets to offset the strengthening U.S. dollar.

Apple iPhone shipments fell 19.9 percent in China during Q4 2018, or Apple's fiscal Q1, according to IDC.

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Surprisingly, Apple may be spooked enough by the drop in sales to lower its prices. His answer was not to report the amount of damage done and not break out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results.

Its single-digit market share paled in comparison to the industry's four biggest players in China: Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, which came in fourth with a 13.1 percent share.

Mawston said the iPhone has been struggling in China for the past three years after major carriers like China Telecom reduced their subsidy programs for 4G smartphones. This means that competitively priced, feature-packed phones have caused problems for the iPhone which has become more expensive over time. Although it did not specifically name any markets, analysts have widely anticipated an official price cut for the iPhones in China as authorised third-party vendors like JD.com are already selling the new iPhones at up to 20 per cent price reduction. To compensate for the loss, Apple is trying to replace phone sales with revenue from services. "The report also claims that Apple will introduce a 'new Green-ish" color option for the most affordable iPhone of 2019, which will be the successor of the iPhone XR, and will also kill off one of the existing colour options - Black, White, Yellow, Coral, Red and Blue.

Mawston said it is highly unlikely Apple will move any iPhone production to the US.

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