China shipments for Apple’s iPhone fall 35% in November: report

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An Apple store in Beijing on Sept. 28, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Coco Gao)

Apple’s iPhone shipments in China dropped by more than 35% in November compared with the same period last year, Reuters reported, citing a report by Credit Suisse.

Why it matters: The November figures are the iPhone’s second consecutive double-digit decline despite Apple’s efforts to lure more Chinese consumers by significantly lowering the price of its newly released iPhone 11 series.

  • Apple priced the iPhone 11 at $50 less than the preceding model following a year of heavily discounting older iPhone models in a bid to offset aggressive competition from Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Oppo.
  • The overall Chinese smartphone market declined by 1.5% year on year in November, a modest recovery from the 6.7% year-on-year dip in October, according to a report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Details: Total iPhone shipments in China in the September-November period dropped 7.4%, said Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Cabral in the report, citing data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

  • Total iPhone shipments in China are down 7.4% year on year in the period from September—when iPhone 11 hit the market—through November, according to the report.
  • The analyst also said Apple expects more tariffs imposed on its products sold in the US if the 15% tariffs on billions in Chinese-made goods come into effect on Dec. 15.
  • However, Apple could avert the duties after US President Donald Trump signed off on an initial trade agreement with China on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

Huawei widens lead in China smartphone market after US ban: report

Context: Apple has had a tough time in China this year. The company’s smartphone shipments in China fell 28% year on year in the third quarter, while unit shipments for Huawei, its biggest rival in China, surged 66% in the same period, according to data from market research firm Canalys.

  • Apple held 5.2% of China’s smartphone market share in the third quarter, ranking fifth behind Chinese handset makers Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi.