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Apple's iPhone sales in China saw a significant decline in the first six weeks of this year that saw it lose the title of China's best-selling smartphone maker to a local vendor.

China-Weekly-Smartphone-Unit-Sales-Share-Growth-in-First-6-Weeks-of-Year-2024-vs-2023.jpg

iPhone sales dropped by 24 percent, pushing Apple down to fourth among smartphone makers in the country, according to Counterpoint Research. Vivo took the top spot, thanks to its success in the budget segment of the market.

That's despite both companies selling fewer phones, owing to a 7 percent drop in the overall Chinese market, which is suffering the effects of a nationwide deflation.

Meanwhile, Huawei saw its market share grow to 16.5 percent from 9.4 percent, thanks to the popularity of its home-grown Mate 60 series. Apple recorded a 15.7 percent market share, falling from 19 percent a year ago, according to Counterpoint's data. Overall growth is likely to remain in the red during Q1 2024 on muted spending and a few new product launches, said the analysts.

Apple's iPhone struggled during the first few weeks of the year for several reasons, according to Counterpoint. "Primarily, it faced stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi," said Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang.

"Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now," he added.

Apple resellers in China have been increasingly dependent on discounts to shift iPhone 15 stock in a market that has entered a general malaise. The discounts followed Apple's own rare price reductions on its website ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in February.

Apple sales in China dropped 13 percent to $20.8 billion in the quarter ended December, falling short of the $23.5 billion predicted by analysts, and forecasts for a quick improvement in 2024 do not look particularly optimistic.

Article Link: iPhone Sales in China Declined 24% in First Six Weeks of 2024
 
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Account25476

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2021
157
864
It's imperative for Apple to prioritize the enhancement of its product quality. Issues like millennial bugs, exorbitant pricing for Apple One/iCloud storage, and notably subpar hardware features need to be addressed promptly.

Apple's approach seems to be centered around maximizing profits by pushing boundaries with pricing, only to later introduce updates or fixes to regain consumer trust.

In essence, Apple needs to focus on delivering consistent quality and value rather than relying on strategies that may compromise customer satisfaction in the long run.
 

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
1,513
4,382
PSI: these types of statistics like this one from Counterpoint Research are often inaccurate as they don't have access to any official numbers.

That said, they can give you a hint about in which direction things are headed and together with Apple's declining sales in China (as per Apple themselves) certainly paints a concerning picture for Apple.
 

kiranmk2

macrumors 68000
Oct 4, 2008
1,549
2,035



That's despite both companies selling fewer phones, owing to a 7 percent drop in the overall Chinese market, which is suffering the effects of a nationwide deflation.
Hmm deflation isn't going to mesh well with Apple's strategy of ever-increasing ASPs. Whilst the cost of everything else decreases year on year, Apple products get more expensive...
 

CrysisDeu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2018
629
900
Chinese market is the most competitive and has brought the most innovations for quite a while.

The complete chip ban on Huawei only held them back for two years. They build everything needed to produce their own chips, in a country where no one makes chips.. Meanwhile Apple still cannot make a 5g modem or a car.
 
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wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
1,513
4,382
It's imperative for Apple to prioritize the enhancement of its product quality. Issues like millennial bugs, exorbitant pricing for Apple One/iCloud storage, and notably subpar hardware features need to be addressed promptly.

Apple's approach seems to be centered around maximizing profits by pushing boundaries with pricing, only to later introduce updates or fixes to regain consumer trust.

In essence, Apple needs to focus on delivering consistent quality and value rather than relying on strategies that may compromise customer satisfaction in the long run.

iPhones and their software are certainly not be perfect, but their SW and HW quality is better than Android.

IMO the real problem is the lack of innovation on iOS. The past several versions of iOS have practically been indistinguishable from the last with only a handful "innovations" in there.
 

contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,780
18,520
Mexico City living in Berlin
Apple software just is not innovative and a "omg I must have it NOW!" anymore like why should I upgrade from my iPhone 12 Pro Max, if the iPhone 15 does the same thing (talking software!). Yes, the camera is better but I can hardly tell (in fact, I find selfies to look better on the old one).

I am actually not saying it is necessarily a bad thing (saves a lot of money) it just shows that even an iPhone 12 Pro is still running great today (speaks for the hardware). Apple would need some "exclusive" software features to get me to upgrade as often as I used to and if they don't? eh that is also fine with me, saves money like I said haha
 

Account25476

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2021
157
864
iPhones and their software are certainly not be perfect, but their SW and HW quality is better than Android.

IMO the real problem is the lack of innovation on iOS. The past several versions of iOS have practically been indistinguishable from the last with only a handful "innovations" in there.
I understand that critiquing Apple in a forum primarily for Apple enthusiasts can be challenging.
However, it's essential to highlight when certain hardware specifications, such as 128GB storage, 60Hz display, and around ~3400mAh battery capacity, and many others persist for years without significant improvement. This kind of game (using lower-quality components) can't last forever.

While this may save costs for Apple initially, it becomes increasingly apparent when competitors continuously offer similar or even better specifications, such as 256GB storage, 120Hz display, and battery capacities exceeding 4000mAh for standard models, often at a lower price point.
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2005
909
2,475
It is amazing how long Apple was able to survive Tim Cook's inadequate marketing and innovative brain. Sure, Apple needs to cater to shareholders and their desires for maximizing profit, but sometimes you make a few dollars less on units to deliver more value to customers, who will in turn show loyalty and buy more. This was why customers hardly ever complained to Apple under Jobs about Apple products being "overpriced."

In fact, people were lining up all day to buy Apple products at launch. You don't see that anymore, and don't bring up online sales for that because people were lining up for days to buy iPhone 4 when they could've just ordered online.

Chinese folks don't think it's worth paying extra to get Apple products anymore. iPhone was always the most expensive phone in the market; yet under jobs people lined up for days to get it. Not anymore.

If Apple doesn't change the leadership, it will be facing slow death.
 

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
1,513
4,382
I understand that critiquing Apple in a forum primarily for Apple enthusiasts can be challenging.
However, it's essential to highlight when certain hardware specifications, such as 128GB storage, 60Hz display, and around ~3400mAh battery capacity, and many others persist for years without significant improvement. This kind of game (using lower-quality components) can't last forever.

While this may save costs for Apple initially, it becomes increasingly apparent when competitors continuously offer similar or even better specifications, such as 256GB storage, 120Hz display, and battery capacities exceeding 4000mAh for standard models, often at a lower price point.

I quite agree with you, actually.

My comment was mainly in response to someone suggesting Apple's struggles are due to quality issues, but as far as I can tell, they have very few defects and other failures compared to their competitors.

That said, Apple has been playing it safe in terms of innovation but also using lower spec (not quality) components and that is why IMO their sales are tanking in China.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
15,876
2,083
Lard
When you consider what the typical person makes, are most devices Americans take for granted too much for China?

I think that they're too much anywhere but obviously, people will sacrifice many things to show that they can afford a flagship phone.
 
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one more

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2015
4,542
5,713
Earth
My guess is that there are two main reasons for this decline:

1) iPhones are way too expensive for the vast majority of Chinese people;

2) A growing anti-American sentiment amongst the Chinese.

The first one is relatively simple to fix, the second one is more complicated.
 

j26

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2005
1,728
632
Paddyland
iPhones just don't seem to be compelling any more. As a family we have 4 iPads, a Mac Mini a MacBook Air and 3 iPhones (11). Only my wife and I are Android phone holdouts.

My kids iPhones are coming for renewal soon and they were given the choice to get a 13 for free (it's free on the plan) or contribute towards a 14 (it's 200 on the plan, but I'd only expect them to put in about 50 as an exercise in learning about the value of money). They all decided to go for the 13 as "it's basically the same as the 14, or 15 and not worth the extra 50" (their words, not mine)

To me that suggests Apple is becoming boring to teens. It just needs to be the "right" brand, but after that it's just not exciting any more.
The change to Apple silicon in Macs was exciting, and was what brought me back to Macs after years on PC's. Apple needs something seismic in iPhones, and soon.
 
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