US media: Apple's iPhone 15 failed to cause a sensation in China

14 days ago • 6 pageviews

On September 14, Apple's just-released new iPhone failed to cause as much buzz among Chinese consumers as in previous years, the latest sign that the company is facing increasing challenges in one of its largest markets.

Apple's challenges in China are becoming increasingly apparent, and the company is trying to reduce its manufacturing operations and supply chain dependence on China, turning to India, another country with a population of more than 1 billion, where it produces more iPhones, opens stores and expands market share.

Apple last week released an emergency security update to fix vulnerabilities in the operating system that allowed the Israeli NSO Group's spyware Pegasus to implant iPhones and iPads.

U.S. efforts to block companies like Huawei from acquiring strategic technology have dramatically changed the smartphone market in recent years. In the first half of 2020, Huawei's share of high-end smartphone sales in China was close to Apple's. But in the second quarter of 2023, the iPhone accounted for 65% of the market share, and Huawei phones accounted for 18%.

Last week, Huawei released a new smartphone to compete in the high-end smartphone market. Senior Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that shipments of Huawei Mate 60 Pro smartphones could be as high as 6 million units in the second half of this year, about 20% higher than initial estimates. He also predicted that within a year of its release, cumulative shipments of the smartphone could exceed 12 million units.

According to market research firm Canalys, shipments of all smartphones in China, including high-end and low-end models, fell 5% year-on-year to 64.3 million units in the second quarter of 2023. Apple ranked third, with 10.4 million iPhones shipped.

According to research firm TechInsights, China became Apple's largest market for the first time in the second quarter, as measured by iPhone shipments alone.

Huawei's strong return poses a threat to Apple's supremacy. In an online survey launched on Weibo, "Will you give up your iPhone for a Huawei phone this year?" Of the nearly 200,000 respondents, more than 40 percent said yes.

Shan Yiren, a 40-year-old Shanghai lawyer, said his iPhone 12 Pro Max has been in use for more than three years and is now considering a 512 GB version of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which costs about $1,650 in China.

Shan said he prefers to continue using the iPhone because of the convenience of migrating data and settings from the old device to the new one. But Huawei's latest satellite calling feature also caught his attention. He said: "Huawei's high-end models are reasonably priced compared to Apple, so I am also considering buying one as a backup device, just to try out the satellite function to show support for Huawei." ”

Apple has seen increasing success in other emerging markets, particularly India, where it hopes to make up for declining sales in China. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in August that India had delivered another record quarter of sales.

Speaking on a conference call with investors, Cook said: "India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. He also acknowledged that Apple's share of the Indian market is still small, but "this is a huge opportunity for us."

According to reports, Apple has been working hard to speed up the production of the latest iPhone in India, shortening the time lag from Chinese production to Indian production. The company began producing some iPhone models in India in 2017, avoiding tariffs on imported devices from China and lowering prices for customers.

In April, Apple also opened its first store in India, which Cook personally unveiled.

But due to the relatively low income of Indians, low-end smartphones running Google's Android operating system have long dominated the Indian market. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple is expected to account for 5% of the country's overall smartphone market this year, up from 1% in 2019.

Data from Counterpoint Research also shows that Apple has made progress in the higher-priced smartphone market, capturing a 59 percent share of the smartphone market that costs more than $540. (little)