Apple and iPhone 7 Continue to Be Outpaced by Lower-Cost Smartphone Brands in China

by

Apple remained the fourth largest smartphone vendor in China in 2016, beaten out by Oppo, Huawei, and Vivo in first, second, and third places, respectively, according to new data from research firm IDC. As a whole, IDC said it was a good year for the smartphone market in China, which saw a 19 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, and a 17 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in the fourth quarter of the year.

Unfortunately for Apple, 2016 also represented its first ever year-over-year decline in the Chinese smartphone market. IDC noted that the new iPhone 7 debut "did not create as much of a frenzy compared to the past" launch of other iPhone models, but the firm doesn't think that vendors like Oppo, Huawi, and Vivo are stealing Apple's market share away. IDC believes that most of Apple's loyal Chinese users simply took an off year in 2016 in anticipation of 2017's "iPhone 8."

2016 was the first time ever that Apple saw a YoY decline in the PRC market. Even though the new black colored iPhones caught the attention of consumers, overall, the new launches did not create as much of a frenzy compared to the past.

Despite the decline, IDC does not believe Chinese vendors have actually eaten away Apple's market share. Most Apple users are expected to be holding out for the new iPhone that will be launched this year, and that will help the brand to see a growth in 2017. Apple's 10-year anniversary iPhone will also likely attract some of the high-end Android users in China to convert to an iPhone.

The overall growth in the smartphone market in China is said to be fueled by an "increased dependence on mobile apps" that led to consumers seeking device upgrades. Even in lower tiered cities, users sought out upgrades, which Apple's iPhone was too high-priced to justify. Instead, Oppo and Vivo "aggressively pushed mid-range smartphones in these cities," according to Tay X iaohan, IDC senior market analyst.


The last note in the research firm's report focused on the slowdown of online shopping in 2016, with companies shifting to bolster their brick-and-mortar retail presence in China. This includes Xiaomi -- ranking as the fifth largest smartphone vendor -- which opened new Mi Home stores throughout the year to drive retail growth. "Apple has also been aggressive in increasing its offline retail presence," according to IDC. Just last month Apple launched its seventh retail location within Shanghai, China.


One of Apple's biggest achievements in China is the App Store. In the third quarter of 2016, the country became the number one largest market in the world for App Store revenue on iOS devices, according to App Annie. Otherwise, Apple has been slowly losing market share in China for a while, with Europe last summer regaining its position as Apple's second biggest market after the United States and ahead of China.

Tag: China

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
49 months ago
In other news, more people buy McDonalds burgers than buy steak dinners. That doesn't mean they can't coexist.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
And Samsung disappeared from the top 5 in China. Who could have told this based on the declarations of the "analysts" one or two years ago ? ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

I never understood how a phone that is expensive to most of us in the west is affordable in countries like China or India.

Considering what the annual wage is in India how can an iPhone of any description be affordable?

China has roughly 1.400.000.000 people. If 5% has decent wages, this means 70.000.000 potential customers. Get it?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

And Samsung disappeared from the top 5 in China. Who could have told this based on the declarations of the "analysts" one or two years ago ? ;)

Seriously... Chinese are eating Samsungs lunch on the low end and Apple is kicking their butt in the high end... doesn't look good for them or other Japanese and Korean manufacturers...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
In a country where the average wage is a pittance of what it is in the Western World, that vendors with much cheaper handsets (and links with the country's authoritarian government) are grabbing market-share as more and more of the population buys mobile handsets is not a surprise. JMHO...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

China has roughly 1.400.000.000 people. If 5% has decent wages, this means 70.000.000 potential customers. Get it?

And even if that 5% doesn't at first blush seem to make that much each year, the cost of living is much lower. You can make $100,000 a year in China and that means you can have a full-time maid/cook. When food and other daily expenses are really cheap, you can splurge on stuff like an iPhone if you want.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...