Chinese smartphone shipments have suffered significantly in the first half of 2022 due to supply chain problems, high inflation, and economic uncertainty. Now, according to a new report, the market is set to hit a 10-year low by the end of 2022. This will impact local brands as well as international including Apple’s iPhone.
Smartphone shipments in China heading toward a 10-year low, and iPhone shipments to subsequently suffer
As reported by Nikkei Asia, the situation in China could be heading toward a “prolonged downturn.” Due to a number of factors, consumers are keeping their current smartphones for twice as long as they used to since they are considered luxury purchases right now. Market saturation, longer waits between upgrades, and increasingly budget-conscious consumers combine for what could prove a prolonged downturn.
In the first half of the year, smartphone shipments in the world’s largest market sank 21.7% on the year to 134 million, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.
The situation for smartphone makers was made worse in China in the first half of 2022 due to COVID-19 affecting production and supply chains. Some factories had to shut down completely whilst others worked under strict restrictions.
Apple’s iPhone shipments in China did increase in June after COVID lockdowns. In May, iPhone sales in the region saw growth of 13% year-over-year, and shipments saw positive growth in June and July. In fact, mobile shipments as a whole in the region saw a 9.2% uptick in the month of June.
Despite Apple continuing to see stable sales for its iPhones, the tech giant appears to be concerned. In late July, the company announced four days of discounts would be made available in China starting July 29 – for the first time ever.
The Cupertino tech company offered significant discounts including 600 yuan ($89) off on the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, third-generation iPhone SE, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 mini were also included in the promotion along with AirPods Pro, AirPods 3, and Apple Watch SE.
Barring any delays, the tech giant’s flagship iPhone 14 lineup is on track for a September release. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming lineup fares in China.