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Apple iPhone sales in China fall 30% in first week of 2024 – Jefferies

According to a note from Jefferies analysts, Apple (AAPL.O) saw a 30% decline in iPhone sales in China during the first week of 2024. This is in addition to indications of increasing competitive pressure on the American tech giant from local rivals like Huawei (HWT.UL).

According to a note the brokerage released on Sunday, the overall double-digit reduction in China smartphone shipments for the first week was caused mainly by the decline in Apple’s sales. During this time, other Android companies like Huawei had comparatively flat year-over-year growth, according to the note.

The research report states that Apple’s sales decreased despite aggressively lowering many iPhone models on well-known Chinese internet marketplaces. For instance, the Pinduoduo online store reduced the price of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max by 16% in the first week of 2024.

According to Jefferies, the 30% decrease, which the brokerage extrapolated from its market tracking, is an acceleration from the 3% year-over-year fall the U.S. corporation witnessed for 2023 in its third-largest market. Apple’s market share fell by 0.4% in 2023 due to the 3% fall.
Analysts at Jefferies stated that Chinese competitors, notably Huawei, which introduced its Mate 60 series of smartphones in August of last year, are mostly to blame for Apple’s downturn.

Apple or Huawei did not immediately answer requests for comments. Many believe that Huawei’s return to the high-end smartphone market with the Mate 60 series comes after years of U.S. restrictions that had previously impeded its development.

The memo states that during the last quarter of 2023, Huawei’s market share for smartphones in China increased by almost 6%. The Jefferies analysts predict that during 2024, Apple will probably experience more competition from domestic competitors. According to their estimate, Huawei anticipates maintaining its market share growth, while Apple’s shipment volumes are predicted to decline by double digits in 2024.

In particular, they predict that Huawei will sell 64 million smartphones globally in 2024, a significant increase above the projected 35 million delivered in 2023.

According to some analysts, the Chinese smartphone industry is set for a recovery after years of decline. Research company IDC predicts an undetermined year-over-year gain in sales in the fourth quarter following 10 straight quarters of declining shipments.

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