Apple’s iPhone Sees 24% Drop in China Sales as Huawei’s Popularity Soars

By Trisha Andrada

Mar 05, 2024 04:30 PM EST

China had a precipitous drop in iPhone sales in the first half of 2024, according to statistics from Counterpoint Research.

Apple saw intense competition from local smartphone companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, based on the report published by the analysis company on Tuesday, Mar. 5. Reportedly, iPhone sales fell by 24%.

The Chinese tech behemoth Huawei, whose consumer business has been booming in China since the release of the Mate 60 smartphone, put a lot of pressure on Apple.

(Photo : STR / AFP via Getty Images)
This photo taken on October 30, 2023 shows a poster for the new iPhone 15 at an Apple store in Shenyang, in China's northeastern Liaoning province.

Chinese Market Competition

Compared to Apple, some of its Chinese smartphone competitors had smaller losses in unit sales over the same six-week period. Oppo smartphone shipments fell 29% year-on-year, while Vivo's fell 15% and Xiaomi's fell 7%, as reported by Counterpoint Research.

In 2020, as a consequence of sanctions imposed by the United States, electronics giant Huawei sold the Honor brand business assets, which became the best-performing smartphone brand in the first half of the year.

According to Counterpoint Research, the shipping of Huawei smartphone units increased by 64% year-over-year in the first half of 2024. Honor phone shipments, on the other hand, increased by 2%.

Also Read: iPhone 15 in China Gets Huge Discounts To Attract Customers Amid Slowing Sales

Growth in Huawei's Popularity

Even in China, one of its most important markets, Apple is encountering challenges. According to CNBC, among the many noteworthy developments putting pressure on the market is the fierce rivalry from domestic Chinese smartphone manufacturers, such as the resurgence of Huawei.

The Mate 60, a 5G-enabled smartphone, was released last year by Huawei. Much to everyone's surprise, the US government imposed a slew of penalties on Huawei in 2019 and 2020, preventing the company from accessing critical 5G mobile internet processors and technologies.

The only true competitor to Apple in China's high-end smartphone market was Huawei, which was once the biggest player in the world by sales numbers. Customers rushed to purchase iPhones once Huawei's phones were no longer competitive since they lacked 5G and advanced chips.

However, the Mate 60 is giving Huawei hope for a comeback. Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah told CNBC: "Huawei is making a come back trying to win back the defectors to iPhone from a couple of years ago. There is some erosion for Apple but more so it's other non-Apple brands in the premium segment also feeling the heat from Huawei."

Also Read: Huawei Introduces New AI Chipset, Threatening Nvidia's Dominance In The Industry

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