Apple, Android Rivals First-Quarter Sales Slide in China as Smartphone Shipments Fall 11 Percent YoY

Apple and its Android rivals saw sales slide in the first quarter in China, research firm Canalys reported on Thursday, as consumers continued to tighten their belts following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The iPhone maker was the top-selling brand over the first three months of the year, with 20 percent market share. But its overall shipments in China fell to 13.3 million units, a 3 percent decrease from the same period in 2022.

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Sales for all other top-selling brands also fell, with total smartphone shipments dropping 11 percent year-on-year to 67.2 million units, the lowest quarterly total since 2013.

Despite being the best-selling brand in the quarter, Apple saw its total market share fall 3 percentage points year-on-year.

Oppo and Vivo, Android brands that trail Apple as the second and third best-sellers, saw shipments fall 10 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Honor and Xiaomi, which specialise in low-end models, saw shipments fall 35 percent and 20 percent respectively, suggesting consumers shied away from phone purchases even at the cheapest prices.

China’s GDP grew 4.5 percent in the first quarter, beating expectations, and policy makers in Beijing are working on plans to further stimulate demand. However, economists expect most Chinese consumers and businesses to spend cautiously over the coming year.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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