iPhone Sales in China Declined 24% in First Six Weeks of 2024

Apple's iPhone sales in China saw a significant decline in the first six weeks of this year that saw it lose the title of China's best-selling smartphone maker to a local vendor.

China Weekly Smartphone Unit Sales Share Growth in First 6 Weeks of Year 2024 vs 2023
‌iPhone‌ sales dropped by 24 percent, pushing Apple down to fourth among smartphone makers in the country, according to Counterpoint Research. Vivo took the top spot, thanks to its success in the budget segment of the market.

That's despite both companies selling fewer phones, owing to a 7 percent drop in the overall Chinese market, which is suffering the effects of a nationwide deflation.

Meanwhile, Huawei saw its market share grow to 16.5 percent from 9.4 percent, thanks to the popularity of its home-grown Mate 60 series. Apple recorded a 15.7 percent market share, falling from 19 percent a year ago, according to Counterpoint's data. Overall growth is likely to remain in the red during Q1 2024 on muted spending and a few new product launches, said the analysts.

Apple's ‌iPhone‌ struggled during the first few weeks of the year for several reasons, according to Counterpoint. "Primarily, it 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," said Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang.

"Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now," he added.

Apple resellers in China have been increasingly dependent on discounts to shift ‌iPhone 15‌ stock in a market that has entered a general malaise. The discounts followed Apple's own rare price reductions on its website ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in February.

Apple sales in China dropped 13 percent to $20.8 billion in the quarter ended December, falling short of the $23.5 billion predicted by analysts, and forecasts for a quick improvement in 2024 do not look particularly optimistic.

Related Roundups: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

Account25476 Avatar
19 weeks ago
It's imperative for Apple to prioritize the enhancement of its product quality. Issues like millennial bugs, exorbitant pricing for Apple One/iCloud storage, and notably subpar hardware features need to be addressed promptly.

Apple's approach seems to be centered around maximizing profits by pushing boundaries with pricing, only to later introduce updates or fixes to regain consumer trust.

In essence, Apple needs to focus on delivering consistent quality and value rather than relying on strategies that may compromise customer satisfaction in the long run.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Account25476 Avatar
19 weeks ago

iPhones and their software are certainly not be perfect, but their SW and HW quality is better than Android.

IMO the real problem is the lack of innovation on iOS. The past several versions of iOS have practically been indistinguishable from the last with only a handful "innovations" in there.
I understand that critiquing Apple in a forum primarily for Apple enthusiasts can be challenging.
However, it's essential to highlight when certain hardware specifications, such as 128GB storage, 60Hz display, and around ~3400mAh battery capacity, and many others persist for years without significant improvement. This kind of game (using lower-quality components) can't last forever.

While this may save costs for Apple initially, it becomes increasingly apparent when competitors continuously offer similar or even better specifications, such as 256GB storage, 120Hz display, and battery capacities exceeding 4000mAh for standard models, often at a lower price point.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
desslr Avatar
19 weeks ago
Deeply concerning.

Something is rotting at Apple. I think it is Tim Cook.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
19 weeks ago

Chinese market is the most competitive and has brought the most innovations for quite a while.

The complete chip ban on Huawei only held them back for two years. Meanwhile Apple still cannot make a 5g modem or a car.
Apple is also unable to build airplanes, tanks, ships, rockets, or skyscrapers
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
syklee26 Avatar
19 weeks ago
It is amazing how long Apple was able to survive Tim Cook's inadequate marketing and innovative brain. Sure, Apple needs to cater to shareholders and their desires for maximizing profit, but sometimes you make a few dollars less on units to deliver more value to customers, who will in turn show loyalty and buy more. This was why customers hardly ever complained to Apple under Jobs about Apple products being "overpriced."

In fact, people were lining up all day to buy Apple products at launch. You don't see that anymore, and don't bring up online sales for that because people were lining up for days to buy iPhone 4 when they could've just ordered online.

Chinese folks don't think it's worth paying extra to get Apple products anymore. iPhone was always the most expensive phone in the market; yet under jobs people lined up for days to get it. Not anymore.

If Apple doesn't change the leadership, it will be facing slow death.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
19 weeks ago

In your opinion
Yes, that's what the "IMO" in my comment stands for
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)