Apple Singles Day sales in China fall, Huawei and Xiaomi surge ahead

  • Apple saw a decline in the number of smartphones sold during China’s recent Singles Day shopping festival.
  • The number fell by 4% year-on-year, lagging behind domestic rivals Huawei and Xiaomi.

Apple’s performance during China’s Singles Day shopping festival will be a concern in the face of ever-increasing competition from local rivals. It saw a 4% decline in smartphone sales in the period, while domestic rivals Huawei and Xiaomi recorded solid growth.

The decline in Apple’s sales comes amid a 5% year-on-year rise in the overall number of Chinese smartphones sold during the promotion period, fueled by Huawei and Xiaomi.

According to Counterpoint Research, during China’s recent Singles Day shopping festival, Apple’s smartphone sales declined by 4% year-on-year, while Huawei and Xiaomi recorded growth of 66% and 28% respectively over the same period. Could price be a factor? Apple’s latest iPhone 15 model starts at 5,999 yuan ($832), while Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphones start from 5,499 yuan ($763). Xiaomi’s latest Mi 14 smartphone is priced from 3,999 yuan ($555).

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Apple sales in China continue to decline

China smartphone shipments market share(Q2 2022-Q3 2023)
China smartphone shipments market share(Q2 2022-Q3 2023)

Competition: Apple faces stiff competition from Huawei and Xiaomi, which offer smartphones with similar features at lower prices. Apple’s sales have now declined for three straight quarters while Huawei and Xiaomi’s sales have grown.

Product differentiation: Apple’s latest iPhone 15 model may not have been differentiated enough from its previous models, which could have led to lower sales. In contrast, Huawei and Xiaomi may have offered more innovative features in their latest models, which could have driven sales growth.

Supply chain issues: Apple has faced supply chain issues in the past, which could have impacted its sales. For example, the company faced supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to lower sales in 2020.

Economic factors: Apple’s underperformance could also be attributed to broader economic factors such as inflation, which could have impacted consumer purchasing power and led to lower sales.

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What does Apple’s future look like?

Volume of Apple sales underperforms Huawei, Xiaomi on China's Singles Day - data.
Volume of Apple sales underperforms Huawei, Xiaomi on China’s Singles Day – data.

It is difficult to predict the future market of Apple based on this news alone. However, it is worth noting that the Chinese smartphone market is poised to rebound, with research firm IDC saying it expects sales to grow year-on-year in the fourth quarter after ten consecutive quarters of falling shipments.Apple’s declining sales during the Singles Day shopping festival could be attributed to the intense competition between smartphone models, with major Chinese e-commerce platforms offering significant discounts on Apple’s iPhones during the sales period . It is possible that Apple may need to re-evaluate its pricing strategy in China to remain competitive.


Shirley Cheng

Shirley Cheng was an intern reporter at BTW Media.

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