Chinese iPhone shipments dipped 3.1M in Q4 2018, full year down 2.5M units

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in iPhone
Shedding light on Apple's China woes, Strategy Analytics on Thursday published smartphone shipment estimates for the region covering calendar 2018 that shows a precipitous decline in iPhone unit growth.

iPhone XS


According to the research firm, Apple shipped 10.9 million iPhones in China during the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 14 million shipped over the same period a year prior. For the year, Apple managed 34.2 million units compared to 36.7 million in 2017.

Along with the dip in unit shipments, Apple's share of the Chinese market contracted to 10.1 percent in quarter four, down from 11.5 percent in the year ago period. Interestingly, the iPhone maker grew its share of the market on a full year basis to 8.4 percent, up 0.4 percent from 2017.

While the performance once again landed Apple in fourth place behind domestic phone makers Huawei, Oppo and Vivo during the lucrative fourth quarter, iPhone was unable to outperform rival Android handsets on an annual basis.

"Apple iPhone has now fallen on a year-over-year basis in China for 8 of the past 12 quarters," said Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple has been under pressure in China for the past three years. Ongoing patent battles with Qualcomm are a distraction, while Apple is being heavily criticized for its expensive retail prices. Apple is in danger of pricing the iPhone out of China."

The selling power of domestic brands in China is readily apparent in Strategy Analytics' numbers. First place Huawei shipped 105.1 million units across 2018, while Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi ended the year with 82.8 million, 79.3 million and 50 million shipments, respectively.

Today's report follows an unexpected revenue guidance adjustment from Apple in January. In a note to investors, CEO Tim Cook said the company is aiming for $84 billion in revenue for the quarter ending in December, down from a previous forecast between $89 billion and $93 billion.

Cook blamed the shortfall in large part on a slowdown in China and other burgeoning markets. In an interview with CNBC, the Apple chief said the dip in Chinese demand can be attributed in part to trade tensions with the U.S., suggesting a brewing trade war exacerbated effects of the Asian nation's contracting economy.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Since Apple no longer provides sales stats, these "guesses" by this company (and others like it) IMHO are worthless.  Which makes posting the article just as worthless.,  These people are wrong more than they are right and it is not news or newsworthy..
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,027member
    Down 3.1M in Q4 2018 vs full year down 2.5M. Whole year down less than one quarter. What a math ?

    edited January 24
  • Reply 3 of 10
    wood1208 said:
    Down 3.1M in Q4 2018 vs full year down 2.5M. Whole year down less than one quarter. What a math ?

    It just means that sales in China were actually UP before the last quarter (presumably by 0.6 million units).


    yojimbo007muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 10
    As much effort as Apple tries to make in pushing sales in China, its efforts are repeated being undermined by those in the Whitehouse. Can't win when the government isn't behind you, just another collateral damage of Trump's trade and political policies.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Ciprol said:
    As much effort as Apple tries to make in pushing sales in China, its efforts are repeated being undermined by those in the Whitehouse. Can't win when the government isn't behind you, just another collateral damage of Trump's trade and political policies.
    I think banning Huawei devices in the USA has done significant damage too, can't imagine this went down well with the Chinese people, and made them think is it safe to use apple devices, or does that aid the American government spying on us.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    lukeilukei Posts: 333member
    Arresting the Huawei CFO in Canada has had the effect of Chinese companies either giving away or heavily subsidising Huawei phones for employees. 



  • Reply 7 of 10
    wiseywisey Posts: 27member
    lukei said:
    Arresting the Huawei CFO in Canada has had the effect of Chinese companies either giving away or heavily subsidising Huawei phones for employees. 



    There was a country-wide boycott of Apple iPhones starting the second week of December in China after the Meng’s detention in Vancouver in the first week of December.  Feelings were very strong in China.  Even in Hong Kong, many people bought Huawei phones rather than iPhones in protest of the detention.  This has not been covered much, if at all, by the American press.  The timing of the event was very unfortunate and, in my opinion, was largely responsible for the reduction in sales because iPhone sales were actually quite strong going into November.  
    clarker99ABiteaDayrandominternetpersonfirelockbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 10
    If you do the math, this estimate, if correct, simply supports Tim Cook’s statement when he announced a drop in guidance. He said it was due primarily to China and it looks that’s true. In my opinion, this is not bad news; it means what else he said is also probably true: that other areas are doing extremely well.  And there was a report just yesterday about how well the XR is selling.  How many companies earn $84 billion in one quarter, have enormous cash balances and still prodice some of the most innivative products in the world. As Steve Jobs often said, its not how many we sell, but how good they are.  I believe we will all be surprised when Apple reports next week. Even with a revenue shortfall, its eps is going to be fabulous, and its accomplishments in the wearables and service areas will be fantastic.  

    When it comes to Apple, I’m long, as eevry other wise investor should be.  Or, we could always follow the pundits, take a short term perpective, and gamble away our money in companies that will never even come close on the fundamentals. A respected analyst, Kate Huberty, said it today: buy Apple now, before they reort out next week. Not to sound like a broken record, but i just wish they would finally announce a service bundle for music, tv, movies, books, i Cloud, etc. that will the icing on the cake.
    :
    randominternetpersonneil anderson
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Take that Apple, that's what happens when you price yourself out of the market. Bring back the iPhone SE! ;-)
  • Reply 10 of 10
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,690unconfirmed, member
    wisey said:
    lukei said:
    Arresting the Huawei CFO in Canada has had the effect of Chinese companies either giving away or heavily subsidising Huawei phones for employees. 



    There was a country-wide boycott of Apple iPhones starting the second week of December in China after the Meng’s detention in Vancouver in the first week of December.  Feelings were very strong in China.  Even in Hong Kong, many people bought Huawei phones rather than iPhones in protest of the detention.  This has not been covered much, if at all, by the American press.  The timing of the event was very unfortunate and, in my opinion, was largely responsible for the reduction in sales because iPhone sales were actually quite strong going into November.  
    It's sad how everything becomes Apple's fault without Apple having any involvement.
    firelockneil anderson
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