Apple’s iPhone shipments to China down by 20%: IDC report

According to IDC, the slump was due to China's slowing economy and the heavy price tag of Apple's iPhones.

Shipments of Apple iPhones to China slid around 20.0% in the final quarter of last year due to the slowing economy and the heavy price tag of the smartphone maker's iPhones, research house International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a report on Monday.

Overall, smartphone shipments to China shrank by 9.7% for the October to December period. According to IDC, the smartphone maker with the largest market share in China as of the fourth quarter is Huawei, followed by Oppo, Vivo, Apple, and Xiaomi.

Xiaomi saw a 34.9% fall in shipments due to inventory corrections and an internal restructuring, while Huawei’s unit shipments rose by 23.3%, said IDC.

Due to the depreciating Chinese yuan in a weak economic growth environment as opposed to an appreciating United States (US) dollar helped by a robust US economy, US iPhones are more expensive after a currency conversion.

Chinese retailers slash iPhone prices, Apple’s iPhone sales fell by 15% for Q1

Apple had warned of poor sales in the country weeks ago, an announcement which caused several electronics retailers including Alibaba-backed Suning and JD.com to slash the prices of iPhones sold in their stores.

Discounts were found to be as steep as US$118 for a recently launched 64 gigabyte iPhone XR phone, making it a cause for concern to Apple’s investors as the iPhone XR was released only months ago.

Late last month, Apple announced it will soon lower the price of some of its iPhone models in an attempt to offset the stronger US dollar and push for smartphone sales. Although a price revision is expected, Apple did not disclose the countries that will have an adjustment in the iPhone prices.

For the first quarter, Apple’s iPhone sales fell by 15.0%, at US$52.98 billion. Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook had blamed a part of the slow sales on the economic slowdown in China.

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