Apple Trails Huawei Among Chinese Phone Buyers

Print Email

Less than 25% of Chinese consumers who plan to purchase a new smartphone would buy an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone. More than 30% say their top choice is Huawei.

The data were reported Sunday by the Financial Times, based on a survey of 1,000 Chinese consumers conducted by an investment research group owned by the paper.

According to the Financial Times survey, “In China, Apple’s new models as a whole are underperforming previous launches.”

The percentage of Chinese consumers who plan to buy a new iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X dropped to 65.1% among those who plan to buy a new iPhone. Last year 75.7% said they planned to purchase a new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus following the new product launches.

Price is significant factor, according to the report:

Apple’s decline in relative popularity in China is partly because market growth is becoming concentrated in mid-range phones that cost Rmb2,000-Rmb2,999 ($300-$450) rather than the more expensive end where Apple aims its models, according to FTCR data on consumer budgets. Costing Rmb8388 (about $1,263) in China, the iPhone X is Apple’s priciest handset yet.

The delayed launch of the iPhone X also plays a role. Taiwan-based investment firm Yuanta estimates that Apple will ship 49 million iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units this year, sharply lower than the 80 million iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units launched a year ago.

Apple stock traded up about 0.2% Monday morning, at $154.42 in a 52-week range of $104.08 to $164.94. The stock’s 12-month consensus price target is $173.15.