Apple could be facing an "informal boycott" from consumers in China

Apple could be facing an

While Apple blamed its slowing iPhone sales on China’s weaker economy, certain industry analysts believe the company’s high prices are at fault. But in a new report, economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch suggest Chinese consumers could be the cause.

With the US and China trade war showing no signs of drawing to a close, it’s claimed that the “spillover from politics” into smartphone sales is particularly high. This has seen local companies encourage consumers to stay away from foreign brands, a move which, according to the report, has led to what is being called an “informal boycott” of US products.

This so-called boycott is significantly affecting demand for Apple’s iPhones in the market. But to make matters worse, it’s being combined with a weaker yuan. Essentially, this means that the dollar value of earnings overseas is reduced, something that further impacts the company’s bottom line.

Fortunately for Apple, the Chinese economy is expected to pick up in early Spring – this could help improve sales – but it seems the US economy may continue to slow past this period. Thus, the benefits of improved performance in China may not be felt.

On a related note, surveys conducted have revealed that consumers in India are showing less interested in Apple’s products too. Here, it is market leaders Samsung and Xiaomi that are capturing the attention of consumers with lower prices and innovative features. As a direct result of this, it seems Apple requires a total strategy rethink in the region.

FEATURED VIDEO

17 Comments

1. notfair

Posts: 776; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

GTFO Merrill Lynch!, there is no boycott, it's the freaking high prices at fault, let's stop hiding under a rock and try to find excuses from what's obvious.

6. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Apple and friends are really trying hard to justify that $1000 price tag. They want to make sure it's not blamed today or their next release years are compromised. Expect more of this "informal boycott" alibi when they flop in other asian countries.

2. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

No phone worth $1000 or above no matter what brand it is from, honestly.

3. Mikele

Posts: 193; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

All are looking for useless excuses! Just high cost and for me in particular I'm holding on to my pretty 6s Plus

15. slashas

Posts: 147; Member since: Jul 17, 2017

Same with my 7plus with QC chip LTE and WiFi are strong compared to family members xs and maxes :)

4. Cat97

Posts: 2022; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Yeah, anything can be at fault, just not the ripoff prices. What a joke...

5. bill718

Posts: 23; Member since: Jul 28, 2014

high price + non-innovation design would put iPhone behind the competition.

7. ryq24

Posts: 876; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

It has always been the price.

8. mariosraptor

Posts: 190; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

I’m a loyal apple consumer. But apple has gone to far with its pricing scheme. I’ll keep on my Xs Max for longer unless prices go down on its next iteration

10. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 776; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

You'll have that phone for a long time if you're expecting the next iteration to be cheaper.

9. Gags987

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 28, 2018

Way too costly. Not only in India, but everywhere. No one loves to part from their money

11. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

As fun as it is to bash Apple, high prices are not their problem in China. The trade war already had Chinese consumers willing to boycott American good over the trade war, this was known since before Apple announced their new iPhones. Since the arrest of Huaweis CFO, the communist party has pushed for local firms to support local tech like Huawei. Its been reported over 200 firms have already implemented policies providing discounted or even free Huawei equipment while discouraging the use of Apple. A few have gone as far as to threaten to take their employees iPhones and some are withholding promotions to iPhone owners. Other businesses like restaurants are providing discounts to customers if they have a Hauwei handset. The Chinese people are retaliating against Apple under guidance of the Communist party, it's gonna take more than slashing the price tag at this point.

12. raky_b

Posts: 440; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Well, for people in China there is Communist party who makes decisions, in US it's Donald Trump. But thing is, you really don't know what's happening in China, is this true or "fake news" which is so common in US and western media, but we all know for a fact that Donald did forbid Huawei,not just to US but to all alias. So...why would be wrong if China do it to? They also have right not to be spayed on...and we all know about "back doors".

14. scarface21173

Posts: 702; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

There is a lot of people paying $1000 and above for the new iphone infact millions are paying it. But not the numbers they need, there is only 1 choice cut the 60% mark up on all devices.

19. wickedwilly

Posts: 773; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

There are many reasons why iPhones are selling in lower numbers as far as I can see. The biggest is phones are lasting longer, with fewer different features, so there is less need to purchase every year or two. The second is price, which particularly affects the higher priced phones as the growth is coming from areas with less disposable income and not many having access to buying their phones on a contract. This means consumers are looking for better value and iPhone are not great value. Especially when you can buy similarly specced phones, that are less expensive to maintain and repair and do most if not more than an iPhone can do. It is not just iPhones but other high priced phones too.

24. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

It's not the high price that is slowing Chinese sales. According to Counterpoint research Apples best selling phone in China is the XS Max. The XR could be hit by price as the starting price for base model is $975 in China. The iPhone 7 & 8 are hit hard by mid range Chinese devices which offer far more for the money. The boycott is very likely real, the Chinese love brands such as Apple but they do not have much brand loyalty and will switch in the blink of an eye if they have reason.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless