If you are thinking of swapping your old iPhone for a brand new Huawei P60 Pro, you aren’t the only one. Apple has reportedly lost its market foothold in China due to the rise of homegrown phones and this has resulted in poorer sales than otherwise imagined.
In a report by Jefferies shared by CNBC, analysts claim iPhone sales in China have seen a ‘double–digit decline’ and ‘volume growth year over year has been negative since the iPhone 15 launched’. This is despite a 10% increase in preorders this year. Huawei has taken over the top spot for market share thanks to strong sales performance.
In that same report, an analyst said “We believe weak demand in China would eventually lead to lower-than-expected global shipments of iPhone 15 in 2023”. This is just one part of a decline in China for the American tech manufacturer.
Just this week, Tim Cook visited a Chengdu Apple Store in China to celebrate Honor of Kings, a game with 100m daily users. This happened just weeks after reports of an iPhone ban for Chinese government officials. To match this market shrink, iPhone 15 sales are 4.5% lower than the iPhone 14, an upgrade we saw as mostly irrelevant. The growth of Huawei as a brand also contributes to this decline.
However, given how well mobile games do in China, the advanced tech of the A17 Pro chip present in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could be a sign of a larger push into gaming for Apple. Tim Cook recently boasted that iOS is the best platform for gaming and with on-board ray tracing, Cook’s argument is a strong one.
China is Apple’s second biggest market behind the US so a dip like this is worrisome for the company, though it is worth noting that the iPhone 14 was the number one phone during its launch last year. The iPhone 15 is still 10% above last year’s phone in America so this decline is a manageable one, even if tensions between the Chinese government and Apple have continued to rise.