iPhone sales plunge in China — first six weeks of 2024 see 24% decline for Cupertino year-over-year

iPhone 15 lineup
(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s iPhone sales in China aren’t looking too cheery for the first six weeks of 2024, with an estimated 24% drop year-over-year.

This report comes from research firm Counterpoint, whose findings show Apple faces tighter competition from Chinese brands such as Huawei in the country. For comparison, Huawei’s sales growth for the same period compared to 2023 is up 64% thanks to the new Huawei Mate 60 series of smartphones. 

The sales decline has affected the overall smartphone market in China, with a 7% total decline compared to the first six weeks of 2023. The Counterpoint report notes that “the first six weeks of 2023 saw abnormally high numbers with significant unit sales being deferred from December 2022 due to production issues, magnifying the negative YoY comparison.” It’s worth remembering the build-up of consumers waiting to purchase devices highly inflated the 2023 sales results.

Counterpoint’s senior analyst Mengmen Zhang said Apple "faced stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi.” This has led to Apple lowering the price of certain iPhone models via Tmall and Alibaba by as much as 1,300 yuan (roughly $180).

They added, “Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now.”

Apple's smartphone sales in China

With Apple seeing a difficult start to smartphone sales in China, the company will hope that demand for the best iPhones rises throughout the year before the iPhone 16 is announced in September. Apple’s push for AI development in iOS 18 may play a factor in bringing consumers on board, especially if the upgrades to Siri via generative AI are as industry-defining as anticipated.

In recent years, Apple has opted for a mid-cycle refresh on some models of the current iPhone lineup, which usually includes a new color option to incentivize new owners. If these Chinese sales numbers continue, it’s highly likely we see something similar with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • FFR
    Down three percent

    Other Android oems got hit harder in China oppo is down 30%.

    Can’t wait to see the marketshare after China singles day sale.