A new industry report has shown that sales of Apple’s iPhone handsets plunged by 19.9 percent in China during the fourth quarter of 2018, as the US’s trade war with China continued to escalate.
During the same period, Chinese tech giant Huawei saw a 23.3 percent increase in sales of its flagship handsets.
China’s smartphone market contracted by 9.7 percent in Q4 2018, with 103 million handsets being sold, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
Analysts have blamed Apple’s sales slump on a slow-down in the Chinese economy coupled with the high unit price of the iPhone compared with that of its Chinese rivals. This, in turn, has led to speculation that Apple will cut prices in mainland China in an attempt to reengage with Chinese consumers.
Last month, Apple was forced to lower its revenue forecast for Q1 2019, blaming falling sales in China for its downward revision.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, stated that his company’s poor performance in China was a natural consequence of the country’s slowing economic growth and its failure to “foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration… in Greater China”. However, Cook also acknowledged that the situation had been exacerbated by “rising trade tensions with the US”.―Total Telecom