Apple Smartphone Sales In China Fall 20% In Q4

Apple Inc. (AAPL) lost further ground to local rival Huawei Technologies Co. in China, with the tech giant’s sales of smartphones falling nearly 20 percent in the fourth quarter from last year.

According to a report by research company International Data Corporation or IDC, China’s smartphone market sales declined 9.7 percent year-on-year to about 103 million units.

However, Huawei’s smartphone sales in China rose 23.3 percent in the fourth quarter from the year-ago period to 30.0 million units, making it the top phone vendor in China.

“The imbalance between the severe domestic market environment and Apple’s high product unit price has led to the decline of Apple’s domestic market,” IDC said.

Local phone makers Oppo and Vivo took the second and third spots among the top smartphone vendors in China, with year-over-year sales increases of 1.5 percent and 3.1 percent to 20.3 million units and 19.4 million units, respectively.

In contrast, Apple stood in the fourth position with a year-on-year sales decline of 19.9 percent to 11.8 million units in the quarter. Since 2016, Apple has experienced its third consecutive year of decline in smartphone shipments year on year.

IDC noted that among the top five smartphone vendors in China, Huawei has become the biggest winner in the domestic market in the fourth quarter through the flagship model’s excellent technology and the continuous driving of brand potential.

Oppo and Vivo remained stable in the quarter through deep penetration of mainstream price segments and online market development.

About Apple, IDC noted that in addition to the regular performance upgrades in 2018, there has been no major innovation to support users to continue to change their machines at the greatly increased price.

At the same time, under the impact of China’s severe macro environment and domestic brand innovation products, consumers’ increasingly harsh eyes are also the reasons for Apple’s continued decline in the domestic market, IDC added.

In late January, Apple had reported lower profit and revenue for the first quarter than last year, hurt largely by weak sales of iPhones. Apple’s revenues from iPhones had dropped 15 percent from the year-ago period to $51.98 billion.

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