Apple falls to 3rd place in China as iPhone sales plummet – Business Insider

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Apple falls to 3rd place in China as iPhone sales plummet – Business Insider

Apple’s iPhone sales are under pressure in China.
CFOTO/Future Publishing/Getty Images

  • Apple’s headache in China is getting worse.
  • A decline in iPhone sales has left Apple in third place in China, according to estimates from Counterpoint Research.
  • This is the iPhone’s worst performance in China since 2020, amid growing competition from local rivals.

Apple’s difficulties in China continue to worsen.

It fell from first to third place in China’s smartphone market after iPhone sales fell 19% in the first three months of the year, according to estimates from Counterpoint Research.

The decline in sales marks the iPhone’s worst performance in China since 2020 and highlights increasingly tough competition from local rivals.

Chinese competitors Vivo and Honor surpassed Apple’s sales in the first quarter of the year, according to Counterpoint data. Apple ended the quarter with a market share of 15.7%, compared to 19.7% for the same period last year and just ahead of Huawei’s 15.5%, according to the research firm.

In contrast to Apple’s fall, Huawei’s sales soared by almost 70% compared to the first three months of 2023.

Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam said in a note that Huawei’s rise has directly affected iPhone sales in China. Apple has also been hurt by fewer consumers replacing their smartphones, he added.

Huawei’s rise has given Apple CEO Tim Cook a new headache, given that he’s already struggling with disappointing iPhone 15 sales and government bans in China. Cook traveled to China in March to visit The new Apple store in Shanghai and attend the prestigious China Development Forum In Beijing.

Huawei’s new Pura70 phone has three cameras, just like the iPhone Pro.
CFOTO/Future Publishing/Getty Images

Huawei recently launched a new smartphone series called the Pura 70, featuring an advanced camera system similar to the lens trio of the iPhone Pro range.

The new phones, which start at $760, give Huawei a new opportunity to win over Apple’s Chinese customers. Last year, the company launched the Mate 60 Pro series aimed at iPhone 15 buyers.

The Huawei Pura70 smartphone.
NurPhoto/Getty Images

Despite the strong competition, Lam said iPhone sales could still reverse their downward trend.

“We’re seeing a slow but steady improvement from week to week, so the dynamic could change,” he said. “For the second quarter, the possibility of new color options combined with aggressive sales initiatives could return the brand to positive territory.”

The 19% drop is slightly better than the 24% slip that Counterpoint had estimated for the first six weeks of the year.

The Chinese smartphone market is crucial for Apple, as it is second only to the United States and ahead of Europe.

Apple has fought on several fronts this year. In March, the European Commission fined the company around 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion). In the United States, Apple faces an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside of normal business hours.

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