IPhone shipments dive in China

A logo sits on the case of an iPhone X smartphone on the first day of sale Customers queue at a re:Store Apple Inc. retailer in Moscow Russia on Friday Nov. 3 2017. Supported by resurgent iPad and Mac sales the 10-year anniversary iPhone will help

Apple iPhone shipments decline in China as Huawei tightens grip in its home market

Apple no longer breaks out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results, meaning that surveys and channel checks by the likes of IDC are often the clearest indicators of shifts in sales. Profit was $19.9 billion or $4.18 a share.

U.S. research company IDC said about 397.7 million units were shipped in China a year ago, down 10.5 percent from 2017.

Apple's October-December shipments suffered a almost 20-percent decline from the same period in the previous year. Even the very base-level iPhone, the iPhone XS, sells for $999 in the USA but with import duties sells for the equivalent of $1,269 in China.

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.

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The domestic market contracted 9.7 per cent in the quarter, but Apple declined at about twice that pace, research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a report on Monday.

Strategy Analytics, a global consulting firm, said Apple has an Asia problem, particularly in China.

Ives and Backe said Apple needs to consider an iPhone-price cut in China.

Despite the fall in demand, Huawei managed to rake in a 23.3% gain in shipments while rivals Oppo and Vivo managed to have modest gains of 1.5% and 3.1% respectively.

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Huawei saw its shipments increase 10 percent on year in Q4 due largely to patriotic support from consumers following the arrest of its CFO Meng Wangzhou in Canada in early December 2018.

Now, experts are blaming Apple for pushing up prices while demand for smartphones was falling.

Apple said its services division, which includes iCloud, the App Store and Apple Pay, saw revenue advance to $10.9 billion, up 19 percent over the prior year. Sales on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong and Taiwan tumbled 27 percent on the year to USD13.2 billion, the firm said on January 30 in its financial report for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2019 - the final quarter of 2018.

Mawston said it is highly unlikely Apple will move any iPhone production to the US.

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