Huawei skyrocketed and Apple's sales dropped massively in China last quarter

Huawei skyrocketed and Apple's sales dropped massively in China last quarter
The worldwide smartphone market is looking pretty bleak at the moment and the situation in China is even worse. But despite these conditions, new data from Canalys shows that Huawei’s growth is basically unstoppable.

Huawei saved the Chinese smartphone market


Between January and March 2019, smartphone manufacturers managed to ship a total of 88 million devices in China. This number is down 3% year-on-year from the 90.7 million units that were shipped 12 months prior, but the relatively small decline suggests the worst could be over for the market. Since the second quarter of 2017, the Chinese smartphone market has continued to experience negative growth. More recently, in the first and fourth quarters of 2018 shipments declined a considerable 21% and 14% respectively.

Regarding the performance of individual smartphone manufacturers, Huawei was the only major brand to experience growth during the period. In fact, if Huawei’s growth is taken out of the equation, the Chinese smartphone market as a whole would have declined a whopping 12.5%.

Huawei skyrocketed and Apple's sales dropped massively in China last quarter

Throughout the first quarter of 2019, the data gathered by Canalys suggests Huawei sold a whopping 29.9 million smartphones. This figure is up an incredible 41% from the 21.2 million devices it shipped a year earlier and helped push the company’s market share up to a record-high 34%, an increase of almost 10% in just one year. 

In terms of what led to this impressive performance, Canalys points out that Huawei made big investments into new physical locations, revamping old ones, and expanding its range of IoT devices and accessories to generate further interest. 

Apple experienced its worst sales decline in over 2 years


Sitting on the opposite end of the spectrum is Apple. The Cupertino giant, which is the fifth largest brand in China, shipped just 6.5 million iPhones during the three-month period and held a market share of 7.4%. Twelve months earlier, the company accounted for 10.2% of the Chinese smartphone market and managed to ship 9.3 million iPhones. 

Comparing the two results, the numbers translate into a 30% year-on-year decline which is actually Apple’s worst in over two years. Nevertheless, the Silicon Valley-based giant suggested earlier today that the situation in China was gradually improving. 

Huawei skyrocketed and Apple's sales dropped massively in China last quarter

During Apple’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Tim Cook revealed that customers in the region have reacted positively to Apple’s recent price cuts. Apparently, iPhone sales finally began to gain momentum during the final weeks of the March quarter, something that is now expected to continue throughout the second quarter of the year. It does, however, seem unlike that Apple will post any kind of year-on-year growth in the region anytime soon. 

Other major brands didn't perform too well either


Filling in the gaps between Apple and Huawei were Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo in fourth, third, and second place respectively.

Xiaomi spent most of the first quarter diversifying its portfolio of devices and turning Redmi into an independent brand that’ll compete with Huawei’s Honor in the low-end segment. For the most part, these efforts were successful – the company recorded growth against the previous quarter – but the changes weren’t enough to avoid a year-on-year decline of 13%.

Vivo and Oppo, on the other hand, saw small declines of 4% and 2% respectively. Both companies invested heavily into revamping their image, with Vivo expanding its smartphone lineup significantly and Oppo focusing on creating a slightly more premium image which will be reinforced by the recently-announced Reno lineup.

Huawei skyrocketed and Apple's sales dropped massively in China last quarter

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49 Comments

1. cmdacos

Posts: 3813; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

That's the difference between innovation and mediocrity.

2. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Must be why Samsung is losing to Huawei there too. Mediocrity.

3. TechNeck

Posts: 640; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

It's because people like domestic products more than foreign ones. Innovation has nothing to do with it, except in Apple's case.

6. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I can't tell if that last line is sarcastic or not. You realize how stupid that sounds, right? Samsung, the most prominent of Android manufacturers, can't sell phones because of Chinese domestic influence. However, Apple, a company from one of the most hated Chinese adversaries in the United States, can sell phones in the millions on the mainland? You see how ridiculous that sounds too... right?

7. jacky899

Posts: 357; Member since: May 16, 2017

Not in the case of China, they would pay twice or triple the amount if you label something as a US product. Even US vehicles that dont sell well anywhere in the world actually sell more in China than it does in tbe US. Apple is still regarded in China as the number 1 demanded and preestigious brand. The problem is Apple 's minimal generational upgrades to the phone and the ridiculous high prices make it increasingly difficult to sell. Almost every Chinese that can afford to own an iphone already has one.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Then what can Apple really do there? We both know they're lowering the price substantially any time soon, and I have no clue when they'll change form factor enough to benefit sales. They're literally SoL in China?

4. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Come to think of it... Samsung isn't even listed. The world's largest OEM can't even make a dent in the Chinese smartphone hegemony. How truly tragic.

8. jacky899

Posts: 357; Member since: May 16, 2017

Not sure why they dont show Samsung individually but Samsung definitely makes up the majority of the "others".

12. TechNeck

Posts: 640; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

And yes Samsung is in the Others category.

26. Leo_MC

Posts: 6329; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Samsung is somewhere at 1-3% in China.

11. TechNeck

Posts: 640; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

You already know that when it comes to innovation Chinese and South Korean phones are top digs while Apple releases the same thing years later. To them it looks like Applenis copying many of their features.

16. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I need facts, fam. Why can't Samsung sell their phones well in China considering how "innovative" they are but Apple can? You're responding to me with what you think/hope is the answer, but I don't care about your feelings on the topic. I need cold hard facts... can you provide them or not?

23. mootu

Posts: 1360; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"I need facts, fam. Why can't Samsung sell their phones well in China considering how "innovative" they are but Apple can? " It's due to politics. Korea are a traditional enemy of China hence korean products sell poorly in China and Chinese products do poorly in Korea. Samsung used to have a good presence in China when there was no local alternative but now that the Chinese compete on every level things are different. Western brands are seen as "cool" with younger Chinese so will always have some sort of presence in the market.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 6329; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So how come the Chinese buy xiaomi's instead of buying us made Blu phones?

33. TheOracle1

Posts: 1888; Member since: May 04, 2015

Jeez you are really ignorant. Blu phones aren't US made, they're rebranded low end Vivo's, Oppo's and formerly Gionee.

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 6329; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So are the iPhones, but that dumb ass seems to ignore that... If Chinese people buy iPhones, because it is a "western cool brand", than they should buy s**tload of Blu phones, because it another "western cool brand", plus it is a cheap one. Yet Chinese people are not doing that, they are buying Chinese brands, which means his logic is flawed.

36. TheOracle1

Posts: 1888; Member since: May 04, 2015

What the heck are you talking about? Can't you read plain English? iPhones are original devices. Blu are REBRANDED! In other words they are Chinese phones already sold in China and are NOT American phones to begin with.

38. Leo_MC

Posts: 6329; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Blu is just an example; there's also Google, Essential or Motorola (you take your pick); how come Chinese people don't buy those "western cool brands" too?

40. TheOracle1

Posts: 1888; Member since: May 04, 2015

Maybe because they're not as "cool" as iPhones. Did that occur to you? Smh

42. Leo_MC

Posts: 6329; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That means Chinese people buy iPhones because iPhones are cool, not because Apple is a "cool western brand".

44. TheOracle1

Posts: 1888; Member since: May 04, 2015

Huh? I can't handle this stupidity.

13. Fred3

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Samsung's not losing though. Stop spreading fake news

15. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

There's a chart LITERALLY in the article that says otherwise.

18. cmdacos

Posts: 3813; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I thought this article was about Hauwei and Apple. Who riled up this Kiko chick??

19. TechNeck

Posts: 640; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

He brought up Samsung on a chart pertaining to mainly Chinese manufacturers and Apple. He's honestly reaching.

21. kiko007

Posts: 7463; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Samsung wishes they could reach the chart lol.

49. worldpeace

Posts: 3091; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Nope, Samsung is losing for totally different story. Korean smartphone brand didn't really accepted in Chinese, same goes for Chinese brands on Korean Market. Just check Huawei on Korean market share, they didn't even get 0.5%.

24. iloveapps

Posts: 388; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Samsung is innovative and yet where are they?

31. whatev

Posts: 2111; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Exactly, that’s why Samsung is nowhere in the charts, you’re finally making sense :)

5. OneLove123

Posts: 772; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

$20 price cut aint gonna cut it.

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