Apple Faces Ongoing Sales Decline in China, Jefferies Analysts Predict 30% Drop
Apple just took a major hit to iPhone sales in China, and analysts predict the pain will continue into 2024.
The new iPhone 15 lineup saw a sharp 30% decline versus last year according to Jefferies. Huawei, on the other hand, posted impressive growth numbers thanks to its wildly popular Mate 60 series flagship.
The timing was unfortunate for Apple. The iPhone 15 launch came just two weeks after Huawei unexpectedly unveiled its Mate 60 Pro. Analysts believe patriotic sentiment drove Chinese consumers to choose the homegrown Huawei device over the American iPhone.
The Mate 60 packs Huawei’s brand new Chinese-made processor, though official details remain scarce. But that mystery chip was enough to entice buyers looking to support domestic technology.
Jefferies estimates Huawei shipped around 35 million Mate 60 units, and sales could have been even higher if not for supply constraints.
Meanwhile Apple saw double digit volume drops that are expected to continue into 2024. Over the holidays, various iPhone 15 deals popped up across Chinese online retailers. But even with lower prices, sales remained sluggish.
For over a decade, Apple has enjoyed immense iPhone success in China. But Huawei’s surprise comeback with the nationalist-pride evoking Mate 60 knocked the wind out of their sails this upgrade cycle.
And with economic headwinds on the horizon, the road ahead looks rocky for Apple to reclaim lost ground in this critical market. The home team advantage appears to be the driving force as Chinese consumers rally around Huawei.
It’s a wake up call for Apple – reliance on blind loyalty is a double-edged sword. As local brands ramp up innovation and foment national pride, the iPhone risks becoming an outsider once again in China.