Apple (AAPL.O) experienced a decrease in the number of smartphones sold during China’s recent Singles Day shopping festival, according to data from Counterpoint Research. This contrasts with domestic competitors Huawei and Xiaomi, which reported substantial increases in sales during the event. Apple witnessed a 4% year-on-year decline in the number of smartphones sold during the two-week sales period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 12, according to data from the research consultancy Counterpoint Research. In contrast, Huawei and Xiaomi experienced significant growth, with a 66% and 28% year-on-year increase in the number of units sold, respectively, during the same period.
The notable increases in smartphone sales for Huawei and Xiaomi contributed to a 5% year-over-year growth in the overall number of Chinese smartphones sold during the Singles Day promotion period, as reported by Counterpoint Research.
The pricing for Apple’s latest iPhone 15 model begins at 5,999 yuan ($832), whereas Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphones have a starting price of 5,499 yuan ($763). Xiaomi’s latest Mi 14 smartphone is priced from 3,999 yuan ($555).
Sales Record of Products at China Singles Day Festival
China’s e-commerce giants, including Alibaba (9988.HK) and JD.com (9618.HK), did not disclose sales figures for the Singles Day festival, a departure from the practice dropped last year. However, JD.com mentioned that the transaction volume value of Apple products on its platform exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.39 billion) during the Singles Day period. A spokesperson from Xiaomi stated that the company achieved a cumulative gross merchandise value of over 22.4 billion yuan during the Singles Day shopping extravaganza.
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Analysts have indicated that the Chinese smartphone market is positioned for a rebound. Research firm IDC anticipates year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter, marking a turnaround after ten consecutive quarters of declining shipments. Intense competition among smartphone models heightened before the annual shopping gala, with major Chinese e-commerce platforms providing substantial discounts on Apple’s iPhones throughout the sales period.
Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 series in late September, approximately a month after Huawei launched the Mate 60 smartphone line, powered by Huawei’s independently developed advanced chip. The Mate 60 series has garnered substantial patriotic support in China, with enthusiasts expressing that it demonstrates how Huawei successfully navigated years of export controls imposed by the United States, which initially posed challenges to its smartphone business.
Reason for Apple’s Slow Sales at China Singles Day Festival
Xiaomi introduced its flagship Mi 14 smartphone series in late October. CEO Lei Jun announced that sales for the new line had exceeded 1 million units shortly after its release. Counterpoint analysts attributed Apple’s sluggish performance during the Singles Day festival not only to competition from domestic rivals but also to supply chain issues that have limited the availability of its new iPhone 15 models.
Ivan Lam, Senior Analyst for Manufacturing at Counterpoint, noted, “Apple is improving compared to last month, but there still seem to be hiccups in terms of supply.” He expressed the expectation that the supply situation for Apple will normalize soon.