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Apple is in a challenging position in China, with a new report revealing that the iPhone 15 series has lower initial sales in the country compared to its predecessor. In relation to this, analysts believe Huawei might dethrone Apple next year with the help of the situation and its famous Mate 60 Pro model.

The situation came after an earlier problem Apple faced with China, with its government making a move to prevent officials from using iPhones. Nonetheless, individual reports from Counterpoint Research and Jefferies analysts (via Bloomberg) point to the post-Covid economic climate and Huawei’s growing supremacy, respectively.

According to Counterpoint, the sales of the iPhone 15 series in China dropped 4.5% compared to the sales garnered by the iPhone 14 during its first 17 days. The firm also hints at the possible role of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro in the matter, saying it could reach 5 to 6 million unit sales in 2023. Analysts believe the digit will double in 2024.

On the other hand, Edison Lee, one of the Jefferies analysts, believes the iPhone 15’s status in China is worse than predicted by Counterpoint. According to Lee, the figure is probably double, claiming Huawei outsold Apple through its Mate 60 Pro model. The firm even pushed the idea that Huawei is now the top player in the market, effectively snatching the position from Apple. Worse, the firm’s analysts believe Apple will lose to Huawei next year.

“The trend suggests iPhone would lose to Huawei in 2024,” Jeffries analysts wrote. “We believe weak demand in China would eventually lead to lower-than-expected global shipments of iPhone.”

According to Bloomberg, based on the estimates provided above, it might mean that the iPhone is facing one of its “worst debuts in China since around 2018” when Oppo and Vivo started getting Asian audiences. The report indicates that several analysts believe that Huawei could significantly impact Apple’s supremacy in the high-end smartphone market. If true, it poses a serious issue for Apple as China is one of its biggest iPhone markets globally.

Unfortunately for Apple, its gap with Huawei is getting thinner and thinner. As per the latest StatCounter data for September 2023 Chinese mobile vendor market share, Apple is leading the race at 24.98%. However, Huawei is consistently just a few steps behind, with its latest share reaching 22.59% last month.


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