Apple iPhone sales slump in China amid Huawei’s comeback

Apple’s iPhone sales fell in China in the first quarter. PHOTO: LOREN ELLIOTT/REUTERS
Apple’s iPhone sales fell in China in the first quarter. PHOTO: LOREN ELLIOTT/REUTERS


Apple’s smartphone sales in the world’s largest smartphone market dropped sharply, placing the company third overall behind local rivals, Vivo and Honor.

Apple’s smartphone sales in China dropped sharply in the first quarter, hurt by the popularity of local rivals and the return of Huawei Technologies to the high-end segment, data from a closely followed research firm showed.

Apple’s iPhone sales fell 19% on year in the world’s largest smartphone market, placing the company third overall behind Vivo and Honor, Counterpoint Research said Tuesday.

Sales by No. 4 seller Huawei, which had suffered from limited access to advanced chips a year ago, rose 70% on year, helped by the successful launch of its 5G-capable Mate 60 series, Counterpoint said.

Oppo and Xiaomi rounded out the top six places for the quarter.

Counterpoint described the period as “the most competitive quarter ever," with market shares of the top seller and the sixth-best seller differing by less than 3.0 percentage points.

Promotions and holiday demand pushed overall smartphone sales 1.5% higher on year in China, marking a second straight quarter of growth, Counterpoint said. For the full year, it forecast growth in the low single-digits, with more Chinese brands integrating artificial intelligence features into their flagship devices.

Apple’s iPhone sales accounted for more than half of total revenue in the company’s October-to-December quarter, expanding nearly 6% on year to post $69.70 billion in sales.

Investors have been concerned that growth in a critical segment for the Cupertino, California-based company is under pressure.

Preliminary data from research firm International Data Corporation showed last week that Apple’s global smartphone shipments had fallen 9.6% on year in the first quarter, toppling the iPhone maker from its perch as the world’s largest phone maker.

Write to Jiahui Huang at

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