Markets

Apple sales tumble in China as smartphone market shrinks

Apple sales tumble in China as smartphone market shrinks

His answer was not to report the amount of damage done and not break out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results.

Apple's iPhone shipments during the quarter ending December 2018 were down almost 20% in China, according to a new IDC estimate, providing additional context around why Apple missed its own revenue target by $7 billion during its most important quarter.

The California-based firm commanded just a 9.1 percent of the Chinese smartphone sector past year, placing it fifth among all makers, Beijing News reported today, citing a publication from market researcher IDC.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said when Apple announced its revenue miss in January that almost all of the revenue miss can be attributed to China.

Apple's latest iPhone models, which are mostly priced above US$1,000, face a tough challenge from Chinese-brand devices that cost about half or a third less.




IDC said in the Chinese-language release that Apple's increasing prices hurt its competitiveness in China (read a Google Translation of the release here).

A slowing economy, lengthening replacement times and the iPhone's hefty price tag contributed to the United States giant's decline in China, IDC said. But with the country announcing its slowest economic growth since 2009, Apple said its sales fell 27 per cent in the holiday quarter. It shored up its lead after unit shipments soared 23.3 per cent in the December quarter, leading all major brands, according to IDC. Analysts said that Apple CEO may have masked the company's strategic mistakes in China's and the impact of fierce competition from fast-growing Chinese Android phone makers is not helping issues for Apple. "China accounts for three in 10 of all smartphones sold worldwide, and it is a market Apple simply can not ignore", Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics told China Daily.

For Xiaomi, the fall in shipments have been attributed to factors such as an adjustment in the company's product lines and inventory channels as well as a revamp of its internal organization.

Lei Jun, Xiaomi's billionaire co-founder, is among those who expect the advent of 5G to energise demand.


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