Photo: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage
Photo: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

Shares of Apple are plummeting after CEO Tim Cook issued a statement on Wednesday slashing the firm’s revenue and laying the blame squarely on an economic downturn in China.

Cook said “most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100% of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad.”

Apple was down as much as nearly 10% on the news.

But just as Apple hits a revenue speed bump, after it decided to keep its iPhone sales figures a secret, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei’s handset sales are skyrocketing.

Huawei recently announced that it shipped more than 200 million units last year. In the third quarter of 2018, Huawei captured a nearly 15% share of global smartphone shipments, which represented a nearly 40% YOY jump.

During the first three quarters of the year, Huawei sold 145.5 million phones, versus 140.4 for Apple. This is despite the fact that Huawei’s offerings are almost entirely locked out of the world’s third-largest smartphone market, the US.

While Huawei still has a way to go in catching up to Apple in terms of revenue, it is making huge inroads in markets across the globe and its high-end models are increasingly popular.

When it comes to the Chinese market, where Huawei is the leading smartphone choice, Apple is now coming to terms with its decline. Regardless of how Tim Cook spins it, this is not merely because of China’s economic slowdown or customers’ decisions to upgrade less frequently. It is also due to the fact that customers are no longer willing to pay more when they can buy a comparable product from Huawei.

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