Apple experiences soaring iPhone sales in China as Android loses ground

Apple experiences soaring iPhone sales in China as Android loses ground
Apple has been struggling to compete in China since late 2018, but new data indicates the introduction of the iPhone 11 series has finally helped the Silicon Valley-based brand turn things around in its second-biggest market.

The iPhone 11 is slowly helping Apple regain ground


Official figures (via Bloomberg) released by the Chinese government show that Apple managed to ship an impressive 3.18 million iPhones throughout December. It captured a decent 11% market share as a result and experienced strong annual growth of 18.7%. 

These results marked a rather significant increase over October and November, when iPhone sales grew by 6%, but are perhaps most impressive when compared to the rest of the mobile segment. 

Smartphone shipments in China for December stood at 28.92 million units, down a massive 13.7% compared to the same period in 2018. This was primarily down to the slowing demand for Android devices, which accounted for 89% of all shipments compared to the average share of 91.2% throughout the rest of the year.

Apple might struggle without a 5G phone


Information provided by industry sources suggests the standard iPhone 11 is the primary reason for Apple’s strong performance. It’s also believed the company will experience a strong start to 2020 thanks to the Chinese New Year.

The latter takes place in late January and typically leads to a sudden spike in smartphone sales throughout the country. Apple’s growing sales in the build-up indicates it’s on track to experience an impressive Chinese New Year.

This period will undoubtedly be followed by a sudden drop off in demand, which is when things could get a little rough for the company due to the growing popularity of 5G smartphones.

Shipments of devices that support the next-generation networks totaled 13.77 million last year, but a huge 5.14 million of those were sold in December alone. This trend is only expected to continue and, with Apple not expected to release a 5G offering until September, the iPhone giant may struggle to compete in the coming months.

The iPhone 9 could help soften the blow


The nearing arrival of flagships from Huawei and Oppo in addition to those from Xiaomi and foreign brands such as Samsung won’t help Apple’s situation either. Fortunately, it appears the company does have one product up its sleeves that could soften the blow.

After years of reports and rumors, Apple is finally preparing to launch a spiritual successor to the iPhone SE dubbed the iPhone 9. It will be based on the old iPhone 8, something that was recently corroborated by a set of leaked renders but should include several flagship-level components.

The smartphone looks set to arrive powered by the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A larger battery for improved battery life is to be expected too, in addition to a single rear camera.

Apple’s plans for the sensor remain unclear at this stage but some sort of upgrade is likely considering the iPhone 8’s age. Possibilities include implementing the iPhone XR’s rear camera or borrowing the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro main shooter.

Regardless, the presence of the A13 Bionic chipset means features such as Night Mode and Deep Fusion should be available to users, therefore providing a significantly improved photographic experience.

The iPhone 9 is expected to make its debut at an event in late March alongside the next-generation iPad Pro lineup. Shipments should begin soon after and, if reports are to be believed, the phone will be priced at $399, $50 less than the iPhone 8.

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23 Comments

1. Whitedot

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

"as Android loses ground" Really? "Huawei (including the HONOR brand) leads the Chinese smartphone market with its market share growing to 40%, a record high. Huawei’s total shipments in Q3 reached 41.5 million units." You didn't account that for Android operating system?

2. joshuaswingle

Posts: 756; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

Q3 is July-September and we covered Huawei's performance when the figures came out. The data provided by the Chinese government today is for December only and, yes, Huawei shipments are included. https://www.phonearena.com/news/Huawei-grew-shipments-66-percent-in-China-during-Q3_id120067

13. nikkk

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 07, 2020

Ofcourse they didn't. What they wanted to do is make Apple commercial :)

24. MaxIT

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 10, 2020

Android supporter hurt much ?

3. Whitedot

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

We all know Q3. Where is your figures for the Q4 where it shows Android is losing ground?

4. joshuaswingle

Posts: 756; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

The story references December, not Q4. Source and Via links are in the story, which you would have spotted if you'd bothered to read it before commenting.

5. Whitedot

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

But how can your generalisation be accurate if Huawei growth surpassed Apple's and few more China Android OEM's altogether in the same period? December is the part of Q4 and will play the role. Hope it makes a sense.

7. joshuaswingle

Posts: 756; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

How am I making a generalization? There are two operating systems in the smartphone market – Android and iOS. The latter experienced strong growth which means the former lost ground, especially when you consider the fact that overall shipments dropped by 13.7%. And as I've mentioned a few times now, this is only about December. I don't understand why you keep referring to Q4 because the story doesn't reference the quarter.

9. Whitedot

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Because Q-ters matters. A single month says very little. You don't take into account December, it is holiday time, sales spykes like that appear every year. This means mostly nothing. Wait for the dive down again, very soon.

16. Cyberchum

Posts: 1142; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

People upvoting you are as dense as you are… maybe even more. The report says December, why bring Q4 into it?

10. tbreezy

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Some people don’t like the truth and will grasp at straws to make an invalid point. Thank you for trying to explain to him but I don’t think he wants to hear any logic right now.

14. wickedwilly

Posts: 777; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I think the relevant point here is the article title is overblown. With Apple having -ve growth in the previous full quarter 28% down (you referred to a 13% growth in Dec as "massive") and only minor growth in the first two quarters, you are overblowing the story. "Apple experiences a good Dec for iPhones sales" would be a more representative title.

25. Mikele

Posts: 194; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Don't mind him for the overblown article. I'm expecting such promo from the guy

23. Vancetastic

Posts: 1896; Member since: May 17, 2017

I think people see the headline and jump to an angry conclusion before really reading the article.

6. whatev

Posts: 2445; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Some butthurt people in the comments *giggles

11. tbreezy

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Haha haha true Anyway, great job by Apple, iPhone 11 deserves the great results...

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31772; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Give Apple credit where it’s due. They’ve made a comeback in China.

12. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2284; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

It looks like Apple is just getting started...Tons of their revenue will be generated through the App Store, accessories (Airpods and Beats), and streaming services. This alone is worth over 100 billion/year, while iPad, Mac, and iPhone will make up the rest of $150-$250 billion/year. Good problem to have... Apple should diversify and form their own ISP and get into the EV Auto industry. These two would conceivably make most sense as home appliances and TV's have super slim margins. Ask Samsung this as they are receiving less than 20% margin on these products.

15. whatev

Posts: 2445; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Omg, joshua, the amount of time you waste replying to trolls bashing you on this site instead of banning them, admirable

17. Cyberchum

Posts: 1142; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I understand that communication is good… important, but there are comments I wouldn't dignify with a response. As much as I dislike iPhone/iOS, I don't come here hating and spewing crap.

18. whatev

Posts: 2445; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

But he’s patient enough with trolls in almost all of his articles, he replies to people that sometimes insult him and he does it in a very polite way, if I were him I’d ban these people

20. midan

Posts: 3237; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

It's art to deal with these trolls. You never should use bad language or attack to Person, that's exactly what Apple hater trolls do when they are unarmed and then they get banned :D It's nice to see Joshua here in comment section, lot of funny moments!

19. midan

Posts: 3237; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I have a feeling that same trend is happening worldwide

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