Apple iPhone Share in China Drops as Huawei Smartphones Gain

Apple has faced a significant setback in its iPhone sales in China, experiencing a 24 percent decline year-on-year during the first six weeks of 2024, research firm Counterpoint said. The decline comes amidst heightened competition from domestic competitors like Huawei.
Apple iphone 12 5G smartphone in SingaporeCounterpoint’s report revealed that Huawei, Apple’s chief rival in China’s premium smartphone market, witnessed a remarkable 64 percent surge in unit sales during the same period.

Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market dwindled to 15.7 percent, marking a drop from second place in the corresponding period of 2023 when it commanded a 19 percent share. Meanwhile, Huawei ascended to second place, with its market share climbing to 16.5 percent from 9.4 percent a year earlier.

The overall smartphone market in China experienced a contraction of 7 percent, according to the report.

Senior analyst Mengmeng Zhang from Counterpoint commented on Apple’s predicament, stating, “Apple faced stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi.”

In response to the challenging market conditions, Apple initiated subsidies on certain iPhone models, offering discounts of up to 1,300 yuan ($180.68) through flagship stores on Tmall, Alibaba’s prominent marketplace platform. This move followed earlier discounts of up to 500 yuan offered on Apple’s official sites last month.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s resurgence in the premium smartphone segment was attributed to the release of its Mate 60 series in August, following years of struggles due to U.S. restrictions on key component exports to the company.

Among the top five smartphone brands, only Honor, the brand spun off from Huawei in 2020, witnessed an increase in unit sales, up by 2 percent. Chinese brands Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo experienced declines of 15 percent, 7 percent, and 29 percent, respectively.