China loves the iPhone, but is cooling on the App Store

Posted:
in iPhone
New research from Morgan Stanley says that during May 2022, iPhone sales were up 15% year-over-year in China -- but at the same time, App Store usage has decelerated in the country.




Investment bank Morgan Stanley has reported on the latest App Store growth before, to an extent that it could affect worldwide sales. Now the company has focused on the Chinese market , and seen similar figures for the App Store, but better news for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Morgan Stanley analysts say that "iPhone growth rebounded to +14% Y/Y in May." The company says this happened as "lockdowns eased," and that it led to "the 21st consecutive month of smartphone IB [Introducing Broker] share gains in China."

Looking at the monthly picture for the App Store, though, Morgan Stanley estimates only 1% growth through June to date. That compares to 6% growth across the whole of May 2022.

Morgan Stanley does not examine reasons for the App Store growth decline, which seems to run counter to the increased iPhone sales. One possible reasons for an App Store slowdown, though, is China's requirement that regulators to approve new games.

China is also limiting its issuing of licences to gaming companies. Plus, recent restrictions have imposed limits on children's time playing games.

"According to the latest disclosures from the [Chinese authority] CAICT, total smartphone shipments in China in May were 20.6M units, down 9% Y/Y," said Morgan Stanley analysts. "This was a notable acceleration from 34% Y/Y shipment declines in the month of April, as China lockdowns eased and pent-up demand was met."

"Our estimates would suggest that May iPhone shipments in China were 4.2M units, up 14% Y/Y (off a +35% Y/Y growth compare)," they continue, "while shipments for domestic Chinese smartphone vendors were down 13% Y/Y (Exhibit 21), indicating iPhone share gains in May."

Significantly, the firm reports that 11.8% of Apple users switched to a Huawei phone during May 2022, but 24.6% of Huawei customers switched to Apple. Note that Huawei had a smaller market share than Apple, so the percentages are not comparable.

What is comparable is the BP, or Basis Point, the financial term used to give some comparison between different companies. "Apple's retention rate increased 66bps [Month over Month] in May, and still remains well above historical averages," says the company.

Source: Morgan Stanley
Source: Morgan Stanley


Morgan Stanley also had news about Apple's supply chain. It reports that the easing of China's lockdowns is helping with both Apple retail stores, and production of the Mac and iPad.

"We believe the measured lifting of COVID related restrictions in China in recent weeks has aided Apple's Mac and iPad production," say the analysts. "Our Mac lead time tracker shows that the MacBook Pro M1 lead times are 56 days as of June 16th, down 6 days from the record of ~62 days the week prior."

The company at least partially ascribes the decreased lead to "better production utilization." But it's now also true that all of the region's Apple Stores are open and taking orders.

"While lead times are still ~ 2 months, this downtick is likely a sign of improving supply," continue the analysts. "The Mac Studio, which was released in March 2022, saw a similar trend, with lead times falling by 6 days week-over-week."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,015member
    My typical slightly off topic rant:

    About a decade ago I suggested Apple cater directly to outside countries by offering country-specific apps and services. It’s frustrating because I know Apple has the money for this. Facebook used their money to lock-in customers all the time and they’re using them.

    Imagine if Apple had acquired WeChat 11 years ago. Maybe CCP wouldn’t have allowed it(or not, money talks look at Didi) but the growth was obvious and at the least Apple could have striked up some deal with big App developers. Why the heck did Apple blow $1B on Didi? It’s been 6 years and I believe Didi offers. nothing special for Apple users.

    Apple should have acquired or partnered with Line in Japan a decade ago(which I suggested). Imagine how expensive it is now?

    I’m glad Apple is gaining the market share they deserve (in my opinion they deserve about 98%) but this could have been done faster and way way better.
    lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 3
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,958member
    Beats said:
    My typical slightly off topic rant:

    About a decade ago I suggested Apple cater directly to outside countries by offering country-specific apps and services. It’s frustrating because I know Apple has the money for this. Facebook used their money to lock-in customers all the time and they’re using them.

    Imagine if Apple had acquired WeChat 11 years ago. Maybe CCP wouldn’t have allowed it(or not, money talks look at Didi) but the growth was obvious and at the least Apple could have striked up some deal with big App developers. Why the heck did Apple blow $1B on Didi? It’s been 6 years and I believe Didi offers. nothing special for Apple users.

    Apple should have acquired or partnered with Line in Japan a decade ago(which I suggested). Imagine how expensive it is now?

    I’m glad Apple is gaining the market share they deserve (in my opinion they deserve about 98%) but this could have been done faster and way way better.
    Assuming Apple was even able to purchase WeChat, the CCP would still shackle Apple.  The CCP does not like Apple having that much control over the App Store, so then here came WeChat - fully endorsed by the CCP - that has an embedded App Store outside of Apple's control and Apple can't do a single thing about it outside of of banning WeChat and being booted out of China's market.

    China's ultimate objective is to turn the iPhone into a dumb terminal where everything goes through WeChat and the iPhone is just a bare-bone host to run WeChat on top of it.
    darkvader
  • Reply 3 of 3
    sflocal said:
    Beats said:
    My typical slightly off topic rant:

    About a decade ago I suggested Apple cater directly to outside countries by offering country-specific apps and services. It’s frustrating because I know Apple has the money for this. Facebook used their money to lock-in customers all the time and they’re using them.

    Imagine if Apple had acquired WeChat 11 years ago. Maybe CCP wouldn’t have allowed it(or not, money talks look at Didi) but the growth was obvious and at the least Apple could have striked up some deal with big App developers. Why the heck did Apple blow $1B on Didi? It’s been 6 years and I believe Didi offers. nothing special for Apple users.

    Apple should have acquired or partnered with Line in Japan a decade ago(which I suggested). Imagine how expensive it is now?

    I’m glad Apple is gaining the market share they deserve (in my opinion they deserve about 98%) but this could have been done faster and way way better.
    Assuming Apple was even able to purchase WeChat, the CCP would still shackle Apple.  The CCP does not like Apple having that much control over the App Store, so then here came WeChat - fully endorsed by the CCP - that has an embedded App Store outside of Apple's control and Apple can't do a single thing about it outside of of banning WeChat and being booted out of China's market.

    China's ultimate objective is to turn the iPhone into a dumb terminal where everything goes through WeChat and the iPhone is just a bare-bone host to run WeChat on top of it.
    You are dreaming. LOL
Sign In or Register to comment.