Gloom, Doom: Apple's iPhone Sales In China Plunge 24%

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 05, 2024 - 12:45 PM

Just days after Goldman removed Apple from its "Conviction List" and Evercore ISI dropped Apple from its "Tactical Outperformlist, which both banks cited mounting concerns about an iPhone sales slowdown, particularly as China's economic troubles worsened. A new report shows Chinese iPhone sales have collapsed. 

New figures from Counterpoint Research, first cited by Bloomberg, show iPhone sales in mainland China plunged 24% over the first six weeks of the year. The report stokes concerns about waning iPhone demand across the world's largest smartphone market. 

Counterpoint shows that China's overall smartphone market shrank by 7% in the first six weeks of the year. Dongguan-based Vivo had the top share of phone sales. 

Last week, Bloomberg reported iPhone 15 Pro Max handsets were priced on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall for around 1,300 yuan ($180) lower than the suggested retail price, indicating these phones were being heavily discounted to stimulate demand. 

The iPhone 15 has not been popular in China since Huawei Technologies Co. launched the Mate Pro 60 last August. 

Huawei has been a thorn in Apple's side since the surprising debut of its homegrown Mate 60 Pro devices, which triggered a wave of patriotic buying and took share away from the US company. Huawei jumped to a 16.5% China market share in the first six weeks, up from 9.4%. The company that split from Huawei in 2020, Honor Device Co., was the only other major maker to show unit sales growth, at 2%. Apple fell below 16% market share, from 19% a year ago, according to the researchers. -Bloomberg

"Despite a decline in consumer confidence, Huawei's enhancements in production enabled the company to meet demand for its popular Mate 60 series," Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam said. 

Lam continued: "The previous year period was already quite depressed, but as far as Apple is concerned, there is more wriggle room in the short term. The aggressive promotions before Women's Day are just one example."

In a separate note, IDC analyst Will Wong warned: "Apple is catching up with the 'deflation' trend in China, intending to boost the demand for iPhones." 

The latest analyst warnings, discount pricing news, and increasing data that show an iPhone slowdown have materialized and sent shares even lower, down 2% in premarket trading in New York. 

Apple is the laggard of the Magnificent 7 stocks. 

Dear Apple: Moar stock buybacks, please!