Apple’s Chinese rival, Huawei, consolidates its position as the world’s second largest producer of smartphone handsets

A new industry report has shown that sales of Apple’s iPhone handsets plunged by 19.9 per cent 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 per cent increase in sales of its flagship handsets. 

China’s smartphone market contracted by 9.7 per cent 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".

Also in the news: 

Apple sees 15% drop in iPhone revenues

Huawei underlines its 5G credentials with launch of 6.5Gbps chipset

Huawei founder: We admire Apple’s stance on data security