Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Huawei Blamed As Things Go From Bad To Worse For Apple

Huawei Blamed As Things Go From Bad To Worse For Apple

Overall, smartphone shipments to China shrank by 9.7% for the October to December period. Apple CEO Tim Cook has seen China as a key part of Apple's strategy.

Counterpoint said iPhone sales in the fourth quarter, which includes India's electronics sales-heavy Diwali festival, fell 25 percent on the year, reducing total sales in 2018 to 1.7 million units from 3.2 million a year earlier.

Due to the depreciating Chinese yuan in a weak economic growth environment as opposed to an appreciating United States (US) dollar helped by a robust US economy, US iPhones are more expensive after a currency conversion.

According to a post on South China Morning, Apple reported a 19.9 percent decline in shipments, while still managing to climb one place to number 4.

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Oppo and Vivo are also ahead of Apple thanks to minor increases, while Xiaomi saw shipments fall by 35 per cent. Xiaomi, which is expanding into Europe, now has 10 per cent of the market. "China accounts for three in 10 of all smartphones sold worldwide, and it is a market Apple simply can not ignore", Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics told China Daily.

IDC said the iPhone's high price specifically "led to the decline of Apple's domestic market", while the increased strength of Huawei's brand and its flagship phone's "excellent technology'" helped it continue to widen the gap over Apple.

Mawston said the iPhone has been struggling in China for the past three years after major carriers like China Telecom reduced their subsidy programs for 4G smartphones. Although it did not specifically name any markets, analysts have widely anticipated an official price cut for the iPhones in China as authorised third-party vendors like JD.com are already selling the new iPhones at up to 20 per cent price reduction. Sales on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong and Taiwan tumbled 27 percent on the year to USD13.2 billion, the firm said on January 30 in its financial report for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2019 - the final quarter of 2018.

Mawston said it is highly unlikely Apple will move any iPhone production to the US.

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