The first week of 2024 has seen a steep decline in Apple iPhone sales in China, according to analysts.
The 30% drop has come despite ongoing discounting across iPhone’s range of models throughout the Chinese online marketplace. Reuters reports that there has been a 16% price drop on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models already this year, but that has done nothing to arrest an ongoing decline in sales in what is its third-largest market, behind the US and Europe.
This points towards ongoing competitive pressures from Android brands such as China-based Huawei, which launched a new range of Mate 60 phones last year.
For Apple, this latest decline comes off the back of a 3% year-on-year drop in sales in China in 2023. Jefferies researchers estimate that decline to equate to a 0.4% decrease in the tech giant’s market share. In comparison, Huwaei enjoyed a 6% increase in the Chinese smartphone market in the final quarter of 2023.
The investment bank now claim Apple is expected to face more competitive pressure from Chinese rivals throughout 2024, with shipment volumes decreasing steadily while Huawei’s market share continues to grow.
Huawei’s Mate 60 series is being described as the company’s route back into the high-end smartphone market, with an estimated 64 million handsets being shipped worldwide this year. That would be up significantly from its estimated 35 million shipped in 2023.
What is Apple’s global market share?
While the California-based tech giant remains the UK’s leading smartphone provider, with a reported market share of between 49.9% and 56.1% in 2022 and 2023, they are not currently the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer.
According to statista.com, Apple claimed 17.7% of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2023, which was slightly lower than Samsung’s majority market share of 19.7%.
At its peak, iPhone’s largest market share – based on global shipment volumes – reached 24.1% back in the final quarter of 2022, which followed the much-anticipated release of their iPhone 14 range.
However, the fact the iPhone 15 release in 2023 does not yet appear to have had the same impact on the company’s market share may be of concern to some inside Apple HQ.