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Apple bounces back, sells 3.9 million iPhones in China in April

Apple bounced back in April in China after a dull March owing to lockdowns, selling 3.9 million iPhones which is nearly 160 per cent increase from the previous month.

In April, overall smartphone shipments in China was up over 94 per cent in comparison to March and reached 40.8 million, reports CNBC.

Apple closed all its retail stores outside Greater China in March as COVID-19 pandemic spread. All the Apple stores in Greater China are now open.

According to the IDC, Apple has always had a significant share of smartphones in use in China because iOS-based iPhones have a longer replacement cycle than Android phones.

In 2019, Apple continued to have the largest user base among smartphone vendors in China, with iPhones in use accounting for 18.9 per cent – representing a slightly lower percentage than in 2018 – of all smartphones in use in China.

The mid-range smartphone segment in which the new iPhone SE falls ($400-$600 exclusive of tax) experienced a contraction in China throughout 2019 as vendors gradually shifted away from the segment to the mainstream price range emphasizing performance to price and to the high end.

“The new iPhone SE has a clear target audience, i.e. users of older iPhone models. It is therefore not so much an attack as a defense amid increasingly intense competition for users in the domestic market as Apple attempts to keep existing iPhone users in the iOS fold,” according to Xi Wang, research manager at IDC China.

According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, smartphone sales in China experienced the roughest March quarter in recent memory, dropping by 22 per cent compared to Q1 2019 values.

The iPhone 11 was the best-selling device for the January–February period, marking the seventh consecutive month it reigned supreme.

Apple also managed to increase its market share.

“Consumers continued to purchase iPhones from e-commerce platforms despite the shutdown of Apple stores across China during February,” said Ethan Qi, senior analyst at Counterpoint.

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