Apple Reverses Sales Decline in China with Impressive March Shipment Growth

Zinger Key Points
  • Price cuts boost iPhone sales in China: Shipments jump 12% in March, reaching 3.75 million units.
  • Apple rebounds in China: March surge contrasts with a 37% drop in early 2024.

Apple Inc AAPL and its Chinese retailers have cut prices, leading to a 12% surge in Chinese iPhone shipments in March, as indicated by official data. 

This increase suggests that Apple’s strategies to reverse a sales decline are starting to bear fruit. According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, foreign-branded smartphone shipments, predominantly Apple’s iPhones, rose to 3.75 million units in March compared to the previous year. 

This rebound contrasts sharply with a 37% decrease during the first two months of 2024, based on Bloomberg’s analysis of monthly reports.

Apple has faced challenges in China since 2023, battling the rise of local competitors like Huawei Technologies Co and dealing with an unofficial ban on iPhones in state agencies and firms, which has impacted its key market outside the U.S. Rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China further affected Apple’s prospects, especially as Washington imposed artificial chip ban in China by restricting access to chip designers like Nvidia Corp NVDA.

iPhone sales in China plunged 24% in the first six weeks of the year, pushing Apple to fourth position in market share. Vivo took charge while Huawei and Honor noted sales growth. Analysts attributed Apple’s woes to inventory adjustments. However, they also flagged  sustainability of any market recovery.

Despite these hurdles, data from the academy revealed a 27% drop in foreign phone shipments in the first quarter of 2024.

Last week, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, while responding to an analyst during the March quarter discussion, mentioned that the iPhone business in mainland China had grown. 

In early 2024, Apple and its resellers in China initiated price cuts, leading to a significant increase in quarterly revenue from China. This uptick countered previous data, pointing to a fast-paced decline in iPhone sales.

Apple stock gained over 5% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via Vanguard Information Tech ETF VGT and SPDR Select Sector Fund – Technology XLK.

Price Action: AAPL shares are trading lower by 0.15% at $182.11 on the last check Wednesday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo Courtesy Apple

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