Kuo: Apple Has Opportunity With iPhone XR in China as Chinese Rivals Face 'Lower Than Expected' Demand
Thursday October 11, 2018 6:44 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said cumulative smartphone shipments from four major brands on the Chinese market, including Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, declined 10 percent on a year-over-year basis during China's Golden Week, a national holiday and major sales period. iPhone XR in (PRODUCT)RED Kuo, writing on behalf of research firm TF International Securities, said the estimated 6.5-7 million shipments during Golden Week were "lower than expected." He called Huawei the "major winner" as the only brand with a year-over-year increase in shipments during the October 1-7 holiday. The well-known analyst attributed the year-over-year decline to a lack of innovative selling points among Chinese-brand smartphones. Kuo is positive on the trends of triple-lens cameras and fingerprint sensors under the display in smartphones, but said only limited models currently support both functions. Kuo also cautioned that the US-China trade war "may be affecting consumer confidence, which makes the replacement cycle longer." A third reason is that some consumers—particularly existing iPhone owners—will opt for more affordable legacy iPhone models or wait for the iPhone XR, according to Kuo, who expects replacement demands for the iPhone XR in China will be better than last year's demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Extrapolating from Golden Week, Kuo said smartphone shipments in China in 2018 as a whole may be "lower than expected." He estimates shipments may decline 10-15 percent to 410 million units on a year-over-year basis.