According to a research report by research firm IDC, Apple Inc.’s Chinese smartphone shipments dropped an estimated 20 per cent in 2018’s final quarter.
The overall Chinese market shrunk by 9.7 per cent in the quarter, but Apple dropped at around twice that pace.
A slowing economy, lengthening replacement times and the iPhone’s hefty price tag contributed to Apple’s decline in China, IDC said. Xiaomi Corp. fared even worse in the final months of last year, when unit shipments plunged some 35 per cent, based on IDC’s estimates.
Smartphone giant brands from Apple to Samsung Electronics Co. are dealing with a plateauing global market after years of growth, as a lack of industry innovation is putting off customers. Not to mention, they also lasts longer than they used to, so consumers are not changing as often.
Apple also has to cope with the rise of Chinese powerhouses such as Huawei, which took a chunk of its market share.
China’s top electronics retailers slashed prices on the latest iPhones by as much as 20 per cent in past months. This is a rather unusual move but nonetheless, signifying a waning interest on iPhones.
Huawei took the lead after unit shipments soared 23.3 per cent, leading all major brands, according to IDC.
Apple was ranked fourth by shipments in the country during the period, following Oppo and Vivo.
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.
“The domestic smartphone market environment in 2019 doesn’t look very optimistic,” IDC senior analyst Wang Xi said in the report.
And “5G phones will still only comprise a very small portion of the overall market. We’ve a long way to go before they become mainstream,” IDC said