Apple iPhone sales in the first calendar quarter of 2020 fell just 1% in a Chinese market that contracted 22% year-on-year as buyers quickly placed orders online and bought enthusiastically models of iPhone 11.
The iPhone 11 remained the best-selling phone in China for 7 months
New data released by Counterpoint Research on Wednesday indicated that smartphone sales in China fell 22% in the first quarter, with particularly dismal sales in February when demand fell 35% from the previous year. However, Apple’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro haven’t experienced the same destruction in demand.
Apple’s share in China increased as it maintained sales volumes better than all domestic manufacturers outside of Huawei
Senior Counterpoint analyst Ethan Qi explained that Apple and Huawei “managed to increase their market share compared to the same period last year, clearly exceeding the entire market in the first quarter of 2020. Sales of Huawei smartphones grew 6% year-over-year and sales of iPhones fell just 1%, while their counterparts suffered a drop in sales with double-digit declines. “
“The iPhone 11 was the best-selling smartphone model in the first quarter; it surpassed the list of best-selling models in China for 7 consecutive months,” added Qi. “Consumers have continued to purchase iPhones on e-commerce platforms despite the closure of Apple stores in China in February.”
Apple remained the number one supplier of high-end phones, with major Android manufacturers seeing sales drop by about 30%
5G didn’t save Android or bury 4G iPhones
Apple’s ability to take first place in China with the iPhone 11 is particularly notable given that a variety of domestic brands offered 5G models at prices below $ 400, including the Vivo Z6 5G, Xiaomi K30 5G, Realme X50 5G and ZTE AXON 11 5G. Despite the development of 5G phones and the relatively wide adoption of 5G mobile networks in China compared to other markets, an overwhelming majority of premium buyers in the country have chosen to buy more expensive iPhones without 5G support over the counter. square.
While Apple was forced to close all of its retail stores in China during the quarter, Counterpoint noted that “we also estimate that the share of online smartphone sales in China jumped to more than 50% in the first quarter , up from around 30% in 2019 “.
Counterpoint expects the share to drop during the current quarter, or after the pandemic is “largely contained”.
This indicates that while Apple’s retail stores are large, the temporary closings do not end sales of its products. Consumers who need a phone or want to upgrade seem to have few problems with purchasing products online.