New statistics show that shipments of mobile phones to China fell six percent in March compared with the same year-earlier month.
The reason is that China is seeing slowing economic growth and during these moments people tend to be a lot more careful making expensive purchases.
The shipments dropped to 28.4 million units in March from 30.2 million units in March 2018, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) said.
March’s six percent slide follows four consecutive months of double digit declines.
Apple endured a steep drop in China sales in late 2018 but believed it would get better by introducing a more expensive smartphone with fewer functions than cheaper Chinese rivals. When that failed to work, it dropped the prices to a level which was still well above the competition.
The fact that a big slice of the Chinese market is not buying at any price is going to be a major headache for Apple this year.
The number of new devices launched by phone makers also fell, according to CAICT. A total of 52 new handsets hit the market in the month, down 35 percent from a year earlier.
Last year was anaemic for the world’s largest mobile phone market, with total shipments falling 15.5 percent, CAICT data shows. The weakness continued in 2019 - February shipments totalled 14.5 million units, the lowest since February 2013 and a 19.9 percent decrease from a year earlier.