Published in Mobiles

Apple’s China crisis continues

by on24 April 2024

Meltdown to the centre of the earth

The Fruity cargo-cult Apple’s woes in what used to be a significant market are continuing, according to the latest findings from Counterpoint Research.

In the first quarter of this year, Jobs's Mob witnessed a significant slump in iPhone sales in China as local tech titan Huawei mounted a formidable challenge.

Jobs's Mob experienced a precipitous 19.1 per cent decline in iPhone sales in the initial three months. Huawei's smartphone division enjoyed a staggering 69.7 per cent surge, thanks to the release of their Mate 60 smartphone, equipped with a state-of-the-art chip enabling 5G connectivity.

Despite the US imposing sanctions on Huawei in 2019, aiming to thwart its access to such advanced technology and nearly decimating its smartphone segment, Huawei is now making a robust comeback. Counterpoint's recent report positions Huawei as the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in China, intensifying the competition for Jobs's Mob, which holds the third spot.

Jobs's Mob's shares dipped slightly in US on the news.

Counterpoint Research research Ivan Lam said: "Apple’s subdued sales during the quarter are a direct consequence of Huawei's resurgence, particularly affecting Jobs's Mob in the high-end market. Moreover, the demand for replacements for Jobs's Mob's products has been somewhat lacklustre compared to past years."

Lam suggested that Jobs's Mob might still recover in the Chinese market, potentially through introducing new colour variants for its flagship devices, because everyone knows that people will spend a fortune on an out-of-date phone if it comes in a new colour.

The overall smartphone sales in China saw a modest 1.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the first quarter, marking a consecutive quarter of growth for the sector.

Counterpoint projects a low single-digit year-on-year expansion for China's smartphone market in 2024, driven by AI features incorporated into handsets by Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

Chinese firms like Xiaomi and Oppo have already integrated Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, tailored for AI applications, into their latest premium phones.

Honor, a spinoff from Huawei, has introduced an AI-driven eye-tracking capability in its latest flagship device, the Magic 6 Pro. This capability enables users to control a car with their gaze.

It is anticipated that Chinese smartphone companies will begin embedding new AI innovations into their mid-range models soon, according to Counterpoint.


Last modified on 24 April 2024
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