Apple: iPhone sales in China decline as Huawei rises, report says

  • Written by Mariko Aoi
  • Business reporter

Image source, Getty Images

Apple's iPhone sales in China fell 24% in the first six weeks of 2024 compared to the previous year, according to research firm Counterpoint.

This comes at a time when the American technology giant faces fierce competition in the country from local competitors.

The report says that during the same period, the Chinese company Huawei saw its sales jump by 64% in its local market.

Apple and Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the BBC.

Aside from a rebound in Huawei's sales at the more expensive end of the Chinese phone market, Apple has also been “pressured in the middle by strong pricing from the likes of Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi”. Mengmeng Zhang of Counterpoint Research wrote.

China, which is one of Apple's largest markets, also saw total smartphone sales shrink by 7% in the same period, the report said.

Huawei has struggled for years due to US sanctions but its sales rose after the launch of its Mate 60 series of fifth-generation smartphones in August.

It was a big surprise as the Chinese company was cut off from key chips and technology needed for 5G mobile internet.

Honor, the smartphone brand that was spun off from Huawei in 2020, was the only top five brand to see an increase in sales in China during the period, according to the report.

Its report also stated that Apple's share of the Chinese smartphone market fell to 15.7% from 19% last year, putting it in fourth place after falling from second place.

Meanwhile, Huawei rose to second place as its market share rose to 16.5% from 9.4% the previous year.

Counterpoint said that despite a 15% drop in sales over the past year, Vivo remained the best-selling smartphone manufacturer in China.

Apple began offering discounts on its official websites in China last month before supporting some iPhone models through its flagship stores on Alibaba's Tmall marketplace platform last week.

The company said sales in China amounted to $20.82 billion (£16.4 billion) in the last three months of 2023, down from $23.9 billion the previous year.

Apple shares fell 2.8% in New York trading on Tuesday.

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