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Counterpoint Research has new data to share, and it is not something that will excite Apple. According to the firm, the Cupertino giant’s iPhone experienced a 10% decline in its sales in the Chinese market in Q323. This follows the sharp 16% YoY dip the smartphone brand saw globally in the same quarter, making 2023 an incredibly challenging phase for Apple.

The data is part of the firm’s report about the Chinese smartphone market’s 3% decline in the third quarter of 2023. Counterpoint nonetheless stresses that it is “a sign the market could be closer to bottoming out.”

The report shows the different brands gaining and losing some sales in the quarter, with only Honor, Xiaomi, and Huawei experiencing YoY growth. On the other hand, RealMe, Oppo, Vivo, and Apple saw a decline, with the former having the biggest at 23%. However, this doesn’t make the situation anything lighter for Apple, as it is still behind three local Chinese brands: Oppo, Vivo, and Honor.

Additionally, there’s Huawei further corroding the stance of iOS in the Chinese market, thanks to the Mate 60 series. A Jefferies analyst, Edison Lee, affirmed the positive appeal of Mate 60 in a report, saying Huawei outsold Apple through its Mate 60 Pro model. As per Lee, the model could reach 5 to 6 million unit sales in 2023, while other analysts said the digit would double in 2024. 

Counterpoint shares possible logical reasons why Apple seems to be behind rivals in this quarter.

“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.”

The news has come as different platforms in China make huge price slashes in various iPhone 15 models in order to attract customers despite its poor demand in the said market. According to a report, deals could hit as high as $205.14, with the iPhone 15 prices reportedly now below Apple’s retail price.


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