Apple’s Annual Chinese iPhone Sales Numbers Fall for First Time

Apple’s Annual Chinese iPhone Sales Numbers Fall for First Time

Apple’s iPhone continues to face stiff competition in China from local brands such as Huawei and Vivo. iPhone sales fell for the first time in the country on an annual basis.

Apple's Annual Chinese iPhone Sales Numbers Fall for First Time


Apple’s iPhone sales fell for the first time in China on an annual basis. 2016 sales for Apple totalled 44.9 million units with under 10% marketshare, representing a 23% drop in shipments compared to 2015. This decline highlights how China continues to be dominated by local brand smartphone manufacturers like Oppo, Huawei and Vivo.

Research firm IDC reports Chinese vendors held the top three slots and accounted for 48% of shipments in the country during 2016. Those same companies look to be set to dominate the market again in 2017. IDC says Apple sold 15 million iPhones in Q4, a year-over-year fall of about 13%.

“Even though the new black colored iPhones caught the attention of consumers, overall, the new launches did not create as much of a frenzy compared to the past,” IDC said in its report.

iPhone’s Chinese Market Share Lowest in Two Years

While Apple’s market share in China shrank to just 9.6%, the lowest in about two years, the news was worse for Samsung, which didn’t even rank in the top five.

Local brands are competing with and beating Apple’s handest by offering many of its features at a lower price. The decline in sales in China comes at a precipitous time for Apple, as it continues to look for markets in which it can continue the iPhone’s sales growth.

Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone, expected to be released later this year, offers a good chance to regain some ground in China and elsewhere, as it is expected to offer a number of new features designed to bring many smartphone buyers back into the Apple fold.