Apple's October-December shipments suffered a almost 20-percent decline from the same period in the previous year. Therefore, in 2019, Apple may be more cautious with its buyers and will reportedly not increase the prices of the iPhones this year.
Apple investors have been anxious about sales in China since the company last month lowered guidance for the quarter due to economic pressures in the region and weak iPhone sales. IDC said: "The imbalance between the increasingly severe domestic market environment and the high pricing of Apple products has led to a decline in iPhone shipments in the Chinese market". CEO Tim Cook also blamed trade tensions between the United States and China for the slowdown in sales.
The Cupertino-based tech firm now has 11.5 percent of the phone business in China due to the 19.9 percent drop, and it continues to stay ahead of Xiaomi, which fell no less than 44.4 percent during the quarter.
Strategy Analytics, a global consulting firm, said Apple has an Asia problem, particularly in China.
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Apple is reportedly trying to address the price factor with discounts and carrier subsidies, but it remains to be seen how these efforts will reflect in terms of sales of the 2018 iPhone generation. "China accounts for three in 10 of all smartphones sold worldwide, and it is a market Apple simply can not ignore", Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics told China Daily. This is happening at a time when China's homegrown Huawei is tightening its grip in the market and recently dethroned Apple from the second position in the world's top selling smartphone brands.
Apple slashed down prices of its latest iPhones by as much as 20 per cent. Apple still provides total revenue by region, though, and its "Greater China" sales - including Taiwan and Hong Kong - were down 27% annually to $13 million, according to CNBC. In the last fiscal year, it generated nearly $52 billion in revenue from Greater China, a region that includes Hong Kong.
The incredible success of the iPhone X convinced Apple that fans were willing to pay more for its latest smartphones.