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Apple struggling in China as iPhone sales take a big hit

Apple appears to be struggling in China as recent figures point to a dramatic drop in iPhone sales for the region.

According to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales dropped an eye-watering 24 percent year on year in China in the first six weeks of 2024. That’s enough to push Apple down from the number one smartphone vendor spot to fourth place in the country.

This underperformance can seemingly be put down to the fact that Apple had an abnormally good January 2023, with production issues deferring handset sales from December 2022. It also comes down to the fact that Apple is being squeezed from both ends of the market.

At the top, a resurgent Huawei has taken a 16.5 percent chunk out of its domestic market, up from 9.4 percent, with its Mate 60 line selling particularly well on home soil. At the opposite end of the market, Vivo has taken 19% of the market – and the number one spot – with its popular budget and mid-range offerings.

As Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang noted, another contributing factor is the simple fact that the iPhone 15 “has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now.”

It’s worth pointing out that the Chinese smartphone market in general has dropped 7 percent, and that only Honor and Huawei have increased their year-on-year smartphone sales for the first month of 2024.

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