Apple’s market share in China down nearly 2% in H1 2020

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/4 22:08:41

An Apple store in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Photo: IC

The market share of Apple's iPhones in China declined 1.9 percentage points to 21.6 percent by number of active devices in the first half of 2020, which analysts said is mainly due to the US tech giant's weakness in 5G technology and waning Chinese consumer interest amid escalating China-US tensions.

In comparison, Huawei's share reached 26.3 percent, up 4.7 percentage points from the same period last year, according to data released by research agency QuestMobile on Tuesday.

The decline of the iPhone's market share comes at a time when Apple significantly lags behind domestic competitors in 5G compatibility, but given the loyalty of its fanbase the 21 percent figure is still satisfactory, analysts said.

"As China's mobile phone market is gradually shifting from 4G to 5G, the lack of 5G in iPhone devices makes a difference for most potential buyers," industry analyst Xiang Ligang told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Shipments of 5G smartphones reached 17.51 million units in June 2020, accounting for 61.2 percent of China's total mobile phone shipments for the month, according to a report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) in July.

As of June, the number of 5G subscribers in China has exceeded 100 million, data from major Chinese mobile operators showed.

According to QuestMobile, Huawei has a relatively high proportion of users aged 25 to 40, while Apple maintains a dominant position among users aged 41 to 45 years old who live in first- and second-tier cities.

"Apple's lack of 5G has made some high-end users who want to use the 5G network turn to Huawei," Xiang said.

However, analysts predicted that 2020 could be the first year that Apple introduces new 5G-enabled iPhones, though it is unlikely Apple will challenge the dominant market share of Huawei in the Chinese market.

"Huawei has secured the leading position in the domestic market as it is more experienced with the technology. It has a myriad of 5G-enabled devices already available on the market and is more competitive in price," Xiang said.

The US' crack down on Huawei also sparked Chinese buyers' patriotism to rally round the firm and vow to buy its devices instead of Apple's iPhone, he added.


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