Apple saw its Chinese smartphone shipments to decrease by an estimated 20 percent in 2018’s final quarter, with local rival Huawei Technologies to maintain their dominant positions in the country, according to IDC.
The overall Chinese market contracted by 9.7 percent in the quarter, but Apple declined at about twice that pace, research firm IDC said in a Monday report. A slowing economy, lengthening replacement times and the iPhone’s hefty price tag contributed to the U.S. giant’s decline in China, IDC said. Xiaomi fared even worse in the final months of last year, when unit shipments plunged almost 35 percent, the consultancy estimates.
The plateauing smartphone global market is also the result of lack of design and technology innovation in the latest models of both Apple and Samsung Electronics, a fact that discourages consumers from replacing devices as often as they used to.
China’s top electronics retailers slashed prices on the latest iPhones by as much as 20 percent in past months, in an unusual move that shows the lack of enthusiasm for Apple’s devices.
Taiwanse supply chain partners for iPhones including flexible board suppliers Zhen Ding Tech, Flexium Interconnect and Career Technology are also bracing bracing for negative impacts in 2019 as their revenues have already seen notable downturns since November 2018.
Despite the latest turbulent months and the spiyng allegations,
Huawei shored up its lead after unit shipments soared 23.3 percent, leading all major brands, according to IDC.
Apple was ranked fourth by shipments in the country during the period, following Oppo and Vivo, IDC said. Fifth-ranked Xiaomi, a Chinese name that experienced rapid growth just before its 2018 initial public offering, incurred a 34.9 percent plunge in shipments thanks to inventory corrections and an internal restructuring, IDC said.
“The domestic smartphone market environment in 2019 doesn’t look very optimistic,” IDC senior analyst Wang Xi said in the report. And “5G phones will still only comprise a very small portion of the overall market. We’ve a long way to go before they become mainstream,” IDC said.