Apple Inc.’s latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 15, is encountering a challenging market in China, as it falls behind its predecessor, the iPhone 14. This shift in sales dynamics can be attributed to several factors, including the persistently weak consumer demand and the growing influence of competitors like Huawei Technologies Co.
The iPhone 15, part of Apple’s premium smartphone series, was introduced at the Wonderlust event on September 12. However, the tech giant is now grappling with strong local competition, particularly from Huawei, following the launch of the Mate 60 Pro.
According to data from Counterpoint, as reported by Bloomberg, iPhone 15 sales have declined by 4.5% when compared to the iPhone 14 during the initial 17 days after its launch. The decline in demand for the iPhone 15 in China is attributed to the ongoing economic challenges as the country strives to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. On the brighter side, Counterpoint’s data also suggests that the iPhone 15 enjoyed a substantial double-digit increase in sales during the first nine days of its release in the United States.
Counterpoint’s research director, Jeff Fieldhack, stated, “The US is currently experiencing strong demand for the new iPhone, with consecutive impressive weekends of sales. This is an encouraging trend from the world’s largest iPhone market and helps mitigate the impact of the sales figures in China.”
Meanwhile, analysts from Jefferies predict a double-digit percentage decline in iPhone 15 sales in comparison to its predecessor. They go as far as to suggest that the trend may lead to iPhone losing its dominance to Huawei by 2024, due to the persistently weak demand in China, which could result in lower-than-expected global shipments.
If both estimates hold true, this could signify the weakest iPhone debut in China since 2018 when local brands such as Oppo and Vivo began to gain traction in the market.
Many industry analysts have argued that Huawei’s ascent poses a significant threat to Apple’s position in the premium smartphone market. In fact, Jefferies recently revealed that Huawei has now become the leading smartphone vendor in China, further cementing its status as a formidable competitor.
Counterpoint’s data also suggests that Huawei could potentially sell around 5-6 million units of the Mate 60 Pro in the current year, and this number could potentially reach double digits by 2024, a testament to Huawei’s growing influence in the market.