Apple is losing its top spot in smartphone sales in China, after securing it just three months ago. The smartphone market is slowing down, due to confinements and a drop in spending, but not only.
The battle was tough, and the victory brief. After six years, Apple had finally managed, in the last quarter of 2021, to regain first place in smartphone sales in China. But the apple brand lost its first place, and slipped to third place, behind Vivo and Oppo, two Chinese players.
At issue: a slowdown in smartphone sales, in a broader context of economic slowdown and slowing consumer spending. Entire areas, such as Shanghai, the country’s largest city, are under very strict confinement. Smartphone sales in the first quarter (which therefore does not yet fully take into account the Shanghai containment, which began at the very end of March) fell by 14%, according to a report by market observer Counterpoint Research. , quoted by CNN Business. The levels then almost correspond to those of the first quarter of 2020, when the very first confinements took place.
But this slowdown has been more painful for Apple than for Chinese brands. Compared to the last quarter of 2021, when the Cupertino company took first place, and where the release of the iPhone 13 still gave business a boost, sales fell 23% in the first quarter of 2022. The share of market fell from 21.7% to 17.9%, adds Counterpoint.
This research company is not the only one to note that Apple is losing first place and that sales are falling. Canalys, a company that also studies trends in the tech market, observes that shipments from the factory to resellers fell by 36% in the first quarter, compared to the previous one.
No improvement to come
In the coming months, no improvement in the conditions that negatively impact the market seems in sight. “I don’t think the second quarter data will improve much as the ongoing lockdowns will continue to affect consumers’ willingness to spend,” Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam told CNN.
Before the economic slump created by covid and confinements, the smartphone market was already in a bad position, further advances the Counterpoint study. Demand in particular was already down, and there were no new innovations to revive it.
The rejoicing was then brief, for Apple. But alongside the loss of first place in this important market, the firm also has concerns for the rest of its activities: the Chinese confinements are also affecting, directly or indirectly, its suppliers, and this has a impact on its business.