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Despite Apple’s attempt to ease fears that the iPhone is faltering in the Chinese market, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes there is “a decline in iPhone demand” in the country. Aside from this, the analyst expressed concern at Apple’s smartphone shipment in China, saying it was “higher than expected.”

The analyst’s comment came after Apple’s fiscal year 2023 Q4 earnings results report, where CEO Tim Cook made assuring remarks about the iPhone’s status in the Chinese market. “In mainland China, we set a quarterly record for the September quarter for iPhone,” Cook told Reuters. “We had four out of the top five best-selling smartphones in urban China.”

Kuo, nonetheless, negates the idea, saying there’s indeed a falling demand for iPhones in the Chinese market. The dip is expected to continue until 2024, with the analyst claiming it will be influenced by Huawei’s revival.

Kuo’s comment supports earlier reports from the researchers at Counterpoint and Jeffries analysts, who all stated that Huawei has been outshining Apple since the release of its Mate 60 Pro. 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. Meanwhile, Jeffries analyst Edison Lee said Huawei outsold Apple through its Mate 60 Pro model as the entire firm’s analysts believe that Apple will lose to Huawei next year.

On the other hand, Kuo claimed that Apple’s iPhone shipment drop in China was worse than expected. The analyst attributed this to the Zhengzhou iPhone factory, which faced a lot of issues in the past.

“The iPhone shipment decline in China is higher than expected,” Kuo shared. “Due to labor protests last November, the Zhengzhou iPhone factory shipped about 12 million fewer iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max units, resulting in a lower revenue baseline for 4Q22. Nonetheless, Apple predicted its 4Q23 revenue to be similar to 4Q22, suggesting that Apple’s 4Q23 momentum is weaker than expected, primarily due to a decline in iPhone demand in the Chinese market.”

Despite this alleged challenging time for Apple in China, the company is determined to maintain the confidence of analysts and investors in its business. Aside from Cook’s recent comments, the Cupertino giant opened its fourth store in China’s Zhejiang province, suggesting its persistence to strive in China despite doubts.


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