Apple Regains Popularity in China With iPhone 11 Series

According to Counterpoint’s latest Market Monitor data, Apple’s market share in China in Q4 2019 rose to 14%, the highest level since 2018. Apple’s new iPhone 11 series have helped Apple regain its popularity among Chinese customers.

During the same time period, iPhone 11 / iPhone 11 Pro/ iPhone 11 Pro Max have outperformed the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max by 36%. iPhone 11 was the top performer, followed by iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro. iPhone 11 comes with many attractive features: A13 processor, dual-lens camera, 3D camera, wireless charging and six color options.

However, the most enticing feature of the iPhone 11 is its attractive price point. The launch price of RMB 5,499 for an iPhone 11 is RMB 1,000 cheaper than iPhone XR. With subsidies from platforms, pricing for iPhone 11 dropped to as low as RMB 4,999. Many iPhone 7 and 8 users who hesitated to upgrade to new iPhones due to their high price points immediately become target users for iPhone 11. Shortly after its release, iPhone 11 replaced iPhone XR as the best-selling iPhone in Q4 2019. iPhone XR was also a popular model given its cheaper price point and held the top selling spot for four consecutive quarters before the release of iPhone 11.

The new iPhone 11 series is more popular than when iPhone XR, XS series were released. Based on Counterpoint data, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max accounted for 79% of iPhone sales in Q4 2019, while iPhone XR, XS and XS Max accounted for around 61% of iPhone sales in Q4 2018.

Counterpoint - apple's market share in China

However, we expect that Apple’s market share in China will start to decline in Q1 2020 as Apple passes its best-selling season. In addition, Apple will face competition from major OEMs ramping up their 5G smartphones. Huawei’s 5G capable flagship models, Mate 30 5G and Mate 30 Pro 5G, have already started to gain traction and is seen as Apple’s biggest competitor. Huawei is expected to add the P40 series from April, which will add further pressure on Apple sales.