Apple's iPhone shipments plunge in China as Huawei tightens grip

11 Février, 2019, 21:50 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A logo sits on the case of an iPhone X smartphone on the first day of sale Customers queue at a re:Store Apple Inc. retailer in Moscow Russia on Friday Nov. 3 2017. Supported by resurgent iPad and Mac sales the 10-year anniversary iPhone will help

The declines occurred weeks after CEO Tim Cook announced a reduction in first-quarter revenue guidance owing to economic pressures in China, including slowing demand for iPhones.

IDC said that Chinese tech company Huawei saw smartphone shipments rise 23.3 percent in the fourth quarter, allowing the firm to cut into Apple's market share. That doesn't mean that iPhone unit sales fell 15 percent, however: Apple raised prices across the board in 2018 in order to maintain its margins, and the average selling price of the iPhone went up. Xiaomi Corp. fared even worse in the final months of previous year, when shipments plunged nearly 35 percent, the consultancy estimates. The Chinese slowdown was also the driving factor behind Apple's first revenue outlook cut in nearly two decades. So I've estimated that Apple sold about 63 million iPhones in that quarter, a drop of 18 percent.

"When smartphones became a commodity for Chinese customers, multinationals need to adjust their overall sales and marketing strategies", Peng said.

Huawei shored up its lead after unit shipments soared 23.3 per cent, leading all major brands, according to IDC.

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Apple said it will pursue iPhone price cuts in markets that has been affected by the stronger dollar. That's despite grappling with an unusually turbulent few months during which its finance chief was arrested on allegations of bank fraud, and the US marshaled its allies to try and block the company from selling next-generation networking gear.

Apple and Xiaomi Corp have both encountered a slump in shipments in China in the December quarter, the worst performers among the top five vendors in the country amid an overall shrinking of demand in the world's largest smartphone market. Fifth-ranked Xiaomi, a Chinese name that experienced rapid growth just before its 2018 initial public offering, incurred a 34.9 per cent plunge in shipments thanks to inventory corrections and an internal restructuring, IDC said.

The industry is now counting on innovations such as foldable screens, 3D cameras and 5G-ready phones to revitalize the market.

"The domestic smartphone market environment in 2019 doesn't look very optimistic", IDC senior analyst Wang Xi said in the report.

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