China iPhone Sales Likely to Continue Losing Ground to Huawei in 2024
Apple appears to be facing an uphill battle to reverse falling iPhone sales in China, with last year's double-digit decline projected to deepen through 2024 owing to strong interest in Huawei's latest home-grown lineup, according to analyst expectations (via Bloomberg).
In an investor note on Sunday citing industry checks, Jeffries analyst Edison Lee said Apple in December suffered a 30% year-on-year decline in iPhone sales in the country while the rest of the market grew, with Huawei seeing the fastest growth thanks to its latest Mate 60 lineup.
Jefferies estimates Huawei shipped 35 million smartphones last year, with only supply constraints preventing it from hitting even bigger heights spurred by a "patriotic fervor" surrounding the phone.
Released in September just weeks before the iPhone 15, Huawei's Mate 60 Pro uses a new China-made 7-nanometer processor tailored for the local market, showcasing the kind of advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities that US sanctions were originally designed to prevent.
Jeffries forecasts Apple will see a similar double-digit fall in iPhone sales for 2024, indicated by discounts on Apple's smartphone lineup across various online merchants, which are expected to cut into the average selling price without stimulating volume growth.
Apple's efforts to counter the slump are also likely to be hampered by China's decision last year to ban iPhones from the offices of multiple government agencies and state companies. China has a huge number of state-owned enterprises in power generation, seaport construction, mining, manufacturing, education, and investment markets.
Meanwhile, Huawei's comeback is predicted to continue, with the Chinese company continuing to develop and extend its own operating system, HarmonyOS, designed to rival iOS and Android.