Apple iPhone Is Up against Strong Competition in China from Huawei and Other Local Rivals

According to statistics released on Thursday by research company IDC, Apple’s smartphone sales in China decreased 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the same time in the previous year due to growing competition from regional competitors headed by Huawei.

The decline highlights the difficulties the American company has in its third-largest market, where several Chinese businesses and government organizations ban staff access to Apple devices. This practice is similar to American government prohibitions on Chinese software due to security concerns.

The greatest smartphone market in the world, which expanded by only 1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2023, saw a resurgence last year from Huawei, whose smartphone company had been destroyed by US sanctions.

According to IDC data, Huawei’s shipments rose by 36.2% in the last quarter of the year. The business increased its market share from 10.3% in the same quarter last year to 13.9% over the time, making it the fourth biggest smartphone seller in China.

However, according to IDC, Apple surpassed Vivo to take the top spot in smartphone sales for the whole year 2023, with a 17.3% market share. Although Apple is now the best-selling product in China for the first time, experts believe this year’s sales will see more pressure on the company.

According to IDC, competing devices and Apple’s lack of product improvements have hurt the company’s high-end market share in China and decreased the allure of iPhones.

According to the report, Apple continues to draw in a large number of customers with significant sales and promotions run via outside distribution channels.

In response to mounting pressure from competitors, Apple provided exceptional discounts on its iPhones earlier this month, slashing retail prices by as much as 500 yuan ($70).

This month, analysts at Jefferies anticipated that Huawei would increase its market share and that Apple’s sales volumes would continue to decline by double digits in 2024.

They predict that Huawei will ship 64 million smartphones globally in 2024, a substantial increase above the less than 35 million devices expected in 2023.

In all, 73.63 million smartphones were shipped into China during the fourth quarter of 2018. According to IDC, shipments were 271 million devices for the whole year, a 5% decrease.

Next Monday, Apple will reveal its quarterly earnings.