Apple’s Losses Turn into Huawei’s Gains as iPhone Sales Decline in China

Apple’s iPhone sales have fallen by 19% in the first quarter of 2024, while Huawei’s smartphone sales surged by nearly 70% during the same period, according to data from Counterpoint Research. This dramatic change in fortunes can be attributed to the launch of Huawei’s Mate 60 series, which features a high-end chip supporting 5G technology.

Huawei’s Resurgence Against All Odds
Since 2019, Huawei had been facing significant challenges due to U.S. sanctions, which restricted its access to key technology and caused a sharp decline in its smartphone business. However, Huawei’s resurgence with the Mate 60 series has been remarkable, enabling the company to become the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in China. Despite Apple’s fall to third place, Huawei’s success is notable for its comeback after years of sanctions and uncertainty.

Market Trends and Predictions
Despite the decline in iPhone sales, Counterpoint anticipates a rebound for Apple in China, driven by potential releases of flagship devices in new colors, aggressive discounts, and the introduction of artificial intelligence features in iPhones expected to be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. These moves could help Apple regain lost ground.

Broader Smartphone Market Dynamics
Overall, smartphone sales in China grew by 1.5% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2024, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth. Associate Director Ethan Qi noted that promotions during the Chinese New Year celebrations were key drivers of this growth, with average weekly sales in the lead-up to the holiday season increasing by 20% compared to typical weeks.

Huawei’s Competitive Edge and Counterpoint’s Outlook
Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang highlighted the intense competition within the Chinese smartphone market, with only a 3% market share gap separating the top six players. Huawei’s success in the premium segment and the broader Chinese market is rooted in its strong reputation and strategic product launches.

For a detailed breakdown of the Chinese smartphone market’s trends and statistics, visit Counterpoint Research’s report.

While Apple may face challenges in the short term, the evolving landscape in the Chinese smartphone market underscores the need for adaptability and innovation. Huawei’s success demonstrates that even in the face of adversity, companies can make a comeback and become key players in a highly competitive industry.