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New data from GfK and IDC (via Bloomberg) affirms the challenging situation the iPhone 15 is facing in the Chinese market. In one of the firm’s data, the drop is as high as 6% in September compared to the predecessor of the series.

The comparison was reportedly based on the sales accumulated by the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 lineups during the same period in 2022 and 2023, respectively. IDK, on the other hand, shared that Apple’s shipments were down 4% during the third quarter of the year.

This follows earlier reports from Counterpoint Research and Jeffries, with the former saying that iPhones experienced a 10% decline in sales in the Chinese market in Q323. On the other hand, Edison Lee, one of the Jefferies analysts, claimed Huawei outsold Apple through its Mate 60 Pro model. Jefferies analysts also 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.”

Counterpoint, nonetheless, explained that the iPhone’s decline could be explained by other factors.

“iPhone sales declined as some demand for older models was fulfilled in Q1 and Q2 2023 due to earlier-than-expected price cuts by channels, which were not offset by the official price adjustment,” Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst Ivan Lam said. “This was compounded by initial supply constraints faced by the iPhone 15 series, which resulted in lower sales compared to the iPhone 14 series for the launch period.”

Whether that is true or not, it can’t be denied that Apple’s position in China is currently critical, especially since the country is one of its biggest iPhone markets. Recently, different Chinese customers shared online various reasons for the low demand for iPhones, underscoring the minimal improvements Apple brought to the iPhone 15 models and the high prices they have. Aside from that, the Cupertino giant is stuck in the political friction between the US and China, with the latter ordering its government officials not to use iPhones at work. More importantly, Huawei is now back in the game with its Mate 60 series, which is now threatening the relevance of the iPhone in the Asian country.


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