Apple Shares Slide After Research Shows iPhone Launch In China Disappoints 

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Oct 16, 2023 - 11:20 AM

Apple shares fell in premarketing trading in New York following research indicating that iPhone 15 sales in China lagged behind its 2022 predecessor. 

Bloomberg cited a new report from market tracker Counterpoint Research that showed iPhone 15 sales were down 3.5% compared with iPhone 14 over the first 17 days after launch.

Counterpoint said the new iPhone's sales slump in China was due to a weakening economy. It noted that in the US, iPhone 15 sales were likely to see double-digit growth over the first nine days of sales in 2022 for the iPhone 14. 

However, the new iPhone's debut in China occurred weeks after Huawei Technologies launched the Mate 60 Pro, which uses a cutting-edge processor made in China and is seen as a victory for Chinese tech despite US sanctions on chips. Also, the Chinese government broadened a ban on iPhones at government agencies and state companies. 

"The US is hot right now with back-to-back stellar weekends for the new iPhone," said Counterpoint research director Jeff Fieldhack.

Fieldhack said, "It's a positive sign from the biggest iPhone market in the world. So definitely takes some of the sting off the China numbers." 

In a separate report, Jefferies analysts led by Edison Lee estimates iPhone 15 sales in China are down as much as double-digit percentage compared with iPhone 14. He explained this has to do with Huawei outselling Apple. 

"The trend suggests iPhone would lose to Huawei in 2024," Lee said, adding, "We believe weak demand in China would eventually lead to lower-than-expected global shipments of iPhone."

Apple shares fell as much as 1.7% in premarket trading due to Counterpoint Research's new note.

Sliding iPhone sales in China can be attributed to a sluggish economic recovery and the preference of consumers in the world's second-largest economy to ditch Apple for domestic brands. 

Remember, China accounts for nearly 20% of Apple's revenue.