Strategy Analytics: Apple Shipped an Estimated 2.5 Million Fewer iPhones in China in 2018 Than in 2017

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Apple shipped an estimated 34.2 million iPhones in China in 2018, down from 36.7 million in 2017, according to new data shared today by Strategy Analytics.

During the fourth calendar quarter of 2018 (Apple's first fiscal quarter), Apple shipped 10.9 million iPhones, down from 14 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.


Apple surpassed Xiaomi to become the number four smartphone vendor in the country, but its iPhone sales fell short of Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo, all Chinese companies that make more affordable smartphones.


For 2018 in total, Apple came in fifth in China, trailing behind the four major Chinese smartphone vendors. Huawei was the number one vendor in China, shipping an estimated 105.1 million smartphones during the year. OPPO shipped 82.8 million, Vivo shipped 79.3 million, and Xiaomi shipped 50 million.

Apple lost market share in the fourth quarter of 2018, but gained ground overall in 2018. Apple held 10.1 percent of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Apple's total 2018 marketshare was 8.4 percent, up from 8 percent.


Despite the slight year-over-year jump, Apple trails all major Chinese smartphone vendors in the country when it comes to market share, including Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

Fourth quarter smartphone shipments in China declined by 11 percent annually, with a total of 107.9 million units shipped by all vendors. That's down from 121.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Smartphone shipments also fell 11 percent annually, with 408.5 million smartphones shipped in China in 2018 down from 459.6 million in 2017.

Overall smartphone shipments have declined for five consecutive quarters in China, which has heavily impacted Apple. Apple recently downgraded its guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2019 (which is the fourth calendar quarter), blaming the move on poor iPhone sales, primarily in China.

Strategy Analytics Director Linda Sui said that the holiday quarter was Apple's worst performance since early 2017. Apple's iPhone shipments have dropped on a year-over-year basis in China for 8 of the last 12 quarters.
Apple has been under pressure in China for the past three years. Ongoing patent battles with Qualcomm are a distraction, while Apple is being heavily criticized for its expensive retail prices. Apple is in danger of pricing the iPhone out of China."
To boost sales in China, Apple has cut the prices of its iPhones for third-party distributors in China, allowing distributors to provide iPhones at lower prices for Chinese customers. The biggest discounts have been on the iPhone XR.

Apple's lowered pricing comes just ahead of the Chinese New Year in February, with Apple hoping the discounts will lure shoppers into purchasing a new iPhone during the holiday.

Article Link: Strategy Analytics: Apple Shipped an Estimated 2.5 Million Fewer iPhones in China in 2018 Than in 2017
 

randyj

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2004
173
206
In other words, Apple increased market share in China from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.4% in 2018.
However as the smart phone market in China dropped by more than 50 million hand set purchases in 2018, Apple sold 2.5 million fewer phones in 2018.
As phones are usually purchased every 2 years, Apple expects to have a strong year in China in 2019.
 

averageguy30

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2019
1
0
In other words, Apple increased market share in China from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.4% in 2018.
However as the smart phone market in China dropped by more than 50 million hand set purchases in 2018, Apple sold 2.5 million fewer phones in 2018.
As phones are usually purchased every 2 years, Apple expects to have a strong year in China in 2019.
Yup. But got to get them clicks.
 

CPx

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
566
293
Chinese market likes new designs. They're not as big on the S-cycle.
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
6,081
9,764
iPhone XR is priced the same as Huawei's Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei's device comes with a 6.4" OLED, Face ID, under-display fingerprint reader, 3 rear cameras, and 128GB of storage. Sure, iOS matters. But at some point, specs and features too.

Chinese brands had already adopted 6" phablets in 2017. What Apple launched in 2018 is effectively what was already available. Chinese consumers have very much less incentive to upgrade in 2018/2019.
 

az431

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2008
1,668
4,754
Portland, OR
Has nothing to do with trade war but rather competition has just gotten better in design, quality and value. Started in July of 2018 with Huawei taking over #2 from Apple so long before the trade war.
Never thought I'd see "better in design, quality and value" associated with Huwaei. That's one for the ages.

Seriously though, you'd make a killing in stand up comedy.
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
6,379
11,905
Has nothing to do with trade war but rather competition has just gotten better in design, quality and value. Started in July of 2018 with Huawei taking over #2 from Apple so long before the trade war.
This is just wrong. The trade war is impacting many US companies in China and China itself.

Intel just blamed China for an earnings miss today.

Samsung also reported soft sales in many businesses and closed a factory in China.

I’m not saying it’s only the trade war, but it is having a direct impact and an element of nationalism against non Chinese companies. Too many companies mentioning it.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,669
10,809
You'd think with the newly minted Chinese they'd be more ostentatious and simply buy the best because they could, thus alleviated Apple's current issues with the country.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,717
4,896
Vancouver, BC
How many Westerner's are buying Huawei phones due to pride? You can bet your bottom dollar that Chinese are not buying Apple (aka American) because of national pride.

I'm Canadian. I don't buy Apple because it's American. I buy it because it's the best choice for me. So many consumers buy what is "good enough" for them, and don't share the same pixel-perfect passion that we Apple fans do. The competition has cast a shadow over Apple, and the gap has become so narrow. If it looks the same, then it's just as good... at least that's what they think. Even my own family (my mom aside) doesn't understand what separates Apple from the rest. Ironically, my older brother used to bash me for thinking Apple was somehow better, and now he's an iPhone owner. Go figure.
 
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