Apple iPhone sales in China fall 30% in first week of 2024 - Jefferies

In the first week of 2024, Apple iPhone sales in China drop 30%, according to Jefferies.

BEIJING: In the first week of 2024, Apple’s iPhone sales in China dropped by 30%, according to a note from Jefferies experts. This is another sign that the U.S. tech giant is facing more pressure from Chinese competitors like Huawei.

According to a note released by the brokerage on Sunday, the drop in Apple’s sales was the main reason why smartphone exports to China dropped by more than 10% in the first week. The note said that during this time, growth for other Android brands and Huawei was pretty flat year-over-year.

According to the research note, Apple’s sales went down even though big Chinese online marketplaces aggressively discounted a number of iPhone models. For instance, in the first week of 2024, the prices of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max went down by 16% on the online shopping site Pinduoduo.

Jefferies said that the 30% drop is faster than the 3% year-over-year drop the U.S. company saw in its third-largest market throughout 2023. The firm got this information from keeping an eye on the market. In particular, Apple’s market share dropped by 0.4%, which was equal to a 3% drop in 2023.

Jefferies analysts said Apple’s decline is largely credited to competitive pressures from Chinese rivals, especially Huawei, which launched its Mate 60 series of phones in August last year.

Apple and Huawei did not quickly respond to requests for comment.

The Mate 60 line is generally viewed as marking Huawei’s comeback to the high-end smartphone market after years of U.S. sanctions that had previously hampered its progress.

The note says that Huawei’s share of the Chinese smartphone market grew by about 6% in the last quarter of 2023.

According to the Jefferies analysts, Apple will likely face more competitive pressure from local rivals throughout 2024. According to their prediction, Apple’s shipment numbers will keep going down by double digits in 2024, while Huawei is expected to keep growing its market share.

Specifically, they predict that Huawei will ship approximately 64 million smartphones worldwide in 2024 – up substantially from the estimated less than 35 million shipped in 2023.

Following a years-long slump, the Chinese smartphone market is set for a rebound other analysts have forecasted, with research firm IDC expecting unspecified year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter after ten straight quarters of falling shipments.

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