Apple facing challenges in China as revenue declines

Zhu Shenshen
In the quarter ended in December, Apple's global revenue grew 2.1 percent year on year, beating analysts' expectations, but suffered a 13-percent drop in China.
Zhu Shenshen

Apple Inc posted a revenue decline of 13 percent in China in the latest quarter on Friday, an indication that the world's top smartphone vendor still faces challenges in its third biggest market.

In the holiday quarter ended in December, Apple's global revenue hit US$120 billion, 2.1 percent growth year on year and beating analysts' expectations. The iPhone revenue jumped 6 percent to US$69.7 billion globally.

But in China, Apple's revenue declined 13 percent to US$20.8 billion in the quarter.

Apple captured top spot in the Chinese smartphone market last year for the first time, with a market share of 17.3 percent, followed by domestic giants Honor, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, according to the researcher International Data Corp (IDC).

But it has faced strong competition since the fourth quarter from rivals such as Huawei with its new Mate 60 models.

Huawei took back the No. 4 position in the fourth quarter. In 2024, iPhone sales are predicted to drop and face strong competition, analysts said.

"We've been in China for 30 years and I remain very optimistic about China over the long term," Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said.

Cook also promised that Apple will strengthen artificial intelligence innovation in 2024.

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