Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone shipments in China did decline by double digits in the year 2016. At the same time, the Chinese brands are threatening now more than ever. Though markets such as China and India are at the top of Apple’s agenda is to grow its share in the Chinese market.
China takes up as much as a third of the world’s shipment of smartphones. Since buyers in the market prefer the local brands, it would definitely be hard for Apple to dominate the market. Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are the top four brands in China. Apple stands at the fifth position.
In comparison to 2016’s 43.8 million units of smartphone shipment they made to China, a decrease of 18.2% compared to 2015’s shipment. This subsequent decrease in the shipments makes 2017 look no better than 2016.
The decline in China’s market was a blow to Apple as there was a decline of as much as 7% of the units shipped globally. Despite the decline in shipment, Jessie Ding, a research analyst at Canalys said that the Chinese buyers are awaiting the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with very high expectations.
Is there any hope for the iPhone 8?
Though the iPhone 8 may be a success, it may not alter the long-term trend of the purchase of local brands. In most of the smaller Chinese cities, the local brands such as Huawei and Oppo are faring on so well. The same local smartphone brands are investing heavily so as to dominate in the top-tier Chinese cities.
This is also the case in where the iPhone brand awareness is only restricted to the urbanized areas. Since the handsets are too expensive for most of the population, apple has recently made a move to start assembling the phones in India.
Most of the Chinese companies are coming up with new handsets with major focus on cameras and screens. Huawei is one of such and other than coming up with a top-of-the-line brand like Huawei Mate 9 pro, it also thrives in networking gear like apple and Samsung.
It is a tough race among Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi though Xiaomi’s market share tumbled and declined by 21% in 2016.
IDC’s survey however placed apple ahead of Xiaomi. According to them, 467 million units of smartphones were shipped to China in 2016 which is a growth of 8.7%. Apple’s shipment declined by 23.2% which totaled to 44.9 million units. This leaves the top three smartphone makes in China as Oppo, Huawei and Vivo