Apple remained China’s biggest smartphone manufacturer in January in terms of sales share and its sales increased about 6% year-over-year according to preliminary data from Counterpoint Research

Those sales could increase even more thanks to price cuts on some iPhone models in the country. The smartphone market in China has contracted after 2017 in terms of year-over-year sales growth. Quarter four of 2022 recorded a 15% year-over-year decline.

Counterpoint says that although major Android manufacturers will continue to launch new models in the first quarter of 2023, they and their distributors are still cautious about restocking. Many of them got cold feet after the COVID shock in December and the nightmare of high inventory in the first half of 2022 is still fresh, adds the research group.

Counterpoint says the industry is skeptical that the strong sales in the first five weeks of 2023 are a solid indicator of a recovery in demand. Some attribute this more to the pent-up demand from December and the earlier-than-usual arrival of the Chinese New Year season rather than the substantial improvement on the demand side.

However, “these strong sales do bring in some fresh air,” according to Counterpoint Research. They not only helped digest the newly added inventory but also ignited the discussion on whether the stagnant market will finally bottom out and rise in 2023, concludes the research group.

When it comes to the iPhone, Apple sliced the price of high-end iPhones in China in an apparent attempt to offset dwindling demand for smartphones in the country, according to Bloomberg. The article says iPhones are selling at discounts of more than $100 in China, “an unusually steep price cut just months after launch that suggests dwindling demand for even its highest-end devices.”

Data from the Canalys research group says that Apple’s iPhone reached an all-time mark share of 18% in China in 2022.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today