Foreign media: 3.9 million iPhones sold in China in April, but still face challenges ahead

Beijing time on the morning of May 22, according tomedia reports, the new low-cost iPhone, apple performance in China in April this year continued to rebound. Apple’s sales plunged earlier this year when it temporarily closed stores in China over a new crown outbreak. After china gradually resumed production, Apple’s retail store reopened.

Media: 3.9 million iPhones sold in China in April, but still face challenges ahead

Still, analysts warned that the tech giant could face some challenges in China’s most important market.

Apple’s situation has been getting better since February, according to data compiled by multiple sources. Sales of the iPhone in China plunged 60 per cent in February from a year earlier, driven by store closures. By mid-March, all stores in China had reopened.

Apple sold 3.9 million iPhones in China in April, up 160 percent from 1.56 million in March, according to CINNO Research.

Apple’s April shipments were about 3 million units, up about 30 percent from a year earlier, according to IDC, a market research firm. The sell-in shipment refers to the number of iPhones Apple sells to Chinese retail partners that can be used to measure future demand.

China’s smartphone shipments rose 94% month-on-month to 40.8 million units in April, according to the China Information and Communications Research Institute.

Apple sells goods through several official retail outlets, including Tmall’s official flagship store.

Apple’s sales through Tmall’s official flagship store rose 40 percent year-on-year to $127.4 million in April, according to WPIC, an e-commerce technology and marketing company. Sales of iPhones through Tmall rose 33 percent month-on-month to more than $80 million.

At the same time, there are signs that Apple’s service revenue is improving. While Apple owns many services such as Apple Music and iCloud, it can only estimate Chinese consumer spending in the App Store. That was $1.53 billion in April, up 7 percent from a year earlier, according to Sensor Tower, an app spending tracker.

Apple has yet to comment.

A number of data suggest that Apple’s business in China is getting better. But analysts warned that the company could face resistance in the coming months.

The short-term effects of the iPhone SE

Apple released its second-generation iPhone SE in mid-April and then went on sale in China. This product starts at RMB3,299.

CINNO said that although the iPhone SE was only available at the end of April, it accounted for 24 per cent of Apple’s 3.9m iPhones sold in April.

The iPhone SE accounts for about 8 percent of April shipments, IDC said. But one analyst said the figure might not necessarily reflect demand.

“I found that demand was not strong. Will Wong, IDC’s research manager, said.

On top of that, there are concerns that the outbreak could hit China’s economy for the rest of the year, affecting consumer spending.

“The situation remains grim. Not just Apple, but all smartphone makers. Apple’s current situation is grim because the economic environment is not so good, consumer sentiment has not returned to normal levels. Will Wang said.

He added that consumers may choose low-end models. Apple’s only product in this category is the iPhone SE, while companies such as Xiaomi or Huawei can attract consumers with low-cost products.

“Users may have considered buying Apple before, but they may now choose a more affordable Huawei. Will Wang said.

China 5G Market

Meanwhile, 5G smartphones are growing rapidly in China after it began deploying 5G networks late last year. This next-generation mobile network can provide ultra-high speeds.

Several Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei and Xiaomi, have launched 5G smartphones, but Apple has yet to release them. According to Counterpoint Research, 5G devices are expected to account for 40% of China’s total smartphone sales by 2020, so this is a big deal.

If Apple doesn’t launch a 5G phone, consumers may choose from another manufacturer’s products or wait for Apple to launch a new model before buying it.

“The high growth in demand for 5G phones is likely to have a negative impact on Apple’s overall sales in the coming months until the launch of the 5G iPhone.” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, said.