Apple Faces Decline in China Smartphone Sales During Singles Day

         

During China’s Singles Day, Apple sees a decline in smartphone sales, lagging behind Huawei and Xiaomi, as the overall Chinese smartphone sales show an increase.

Apple’s Decline in China’s Singles Day

During China’s recent Singles Day shopping festival, Apple faced a decline in the number of smartphones sold, with a 4% year-on-year decrease from October 30 to November 12, as reported by Counterpoint Research. In contrast, Huawei and Xiaomi experienced significant increases of 66% and 28% in units sold, respectively, during the same period.

Impact on Overall Chinese Smartphone Sales

The robust increases in sales for Huawei and Xiaomi contributed to a 5% year-over-year rise in the overall number of Chinese smartphones sold during the promotion period.

Pricing and Response

The price of Apple’s latest iPhone 15 model starts at 5,999 yuan ($832), while Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphones begin at 5,499 yuan ($763), and Xiaomi’s latest Mi 14 smartphone is priced from 3,999 yuan ($555). Additionally, China’s e-commerce platforms, Alibaba and JD.com, did not disclose their sales figures for the Singles Day festival, though JD.com mentioned that the transaction volume of Apple products surpassed 10 billion yuan ($1.39 billion) on its platform during the period.

Market Outlook and Competition

Analysts anticipate a rebound in the Chinese smartphone market, with expectations of year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter after ten consecutive quarters of declining shipments. Prior to the annual sales event, the competition between smartphone models intensified, with major Chinese e-commerce platforms offering substantial discounts on Apple’s iPhones.

Product Releases and Patriotic Support

Apple released its iPhone 15 series in late September, following Huawei’s launch of the Mate 60 smartphone line powered by its independently developed advanced chip. The Mate 60 series garnered patriotic support in China, seen as a testament to Huawei’s resilience amid years of export controls by the United States. Xiaomi also debuted its flagship Mi 14 smartphone series, with CEO Lei Jun revealing that sales surpassed 1 million units after its release.

Challenges and Expectations

Counterpoint analysts attributed Apple’s subdued performance to supply chain constraints affecting the availability of its new iPhone 15 models. Ivan Lam, senior analyst for manufacturing at Counterpoint, noted improvement compared to the previous month but emphasized ongoing hiccups in supply, expressing expectations for the situation to normalize soon.

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