Apple Stock Continues Slide After China Data Shows Sales Declining

Apple Stock Continues Slide After China Data Shows Sales Declining

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In the opening weeks of 2024, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) faced a steep decline in smartphone sales in China, a market known for its fierce competition and sensitivity to pricing. This period saw Apple’s iPhone sales drop by 24% compared to the previous year, pushing the tech giant to fourth place in market share.

This downturn occurred amidst a significant resurgence by Huawei, whose sales surged by 64% thanks to the popularity of its Mate 60 series, capturing a 17% share of the market and securing second place. Vivo emerged as the market leader, while Apple struggled against Huawei’s comeback and the competitive pricing strategies of OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

The slower update cycle of iPhones, attributed to the perceived incremental upgrades in new models, further impacted Apple’s market position. Despite these challenges, the broader Chinese smartphone market also experienced a downturn, with overall sales dipping by 7% year-over-year in the first quarter, reflecting a cautious consumer spending environment and a lull in significant new product introductions.

Apple Smartphone Sales Dropped 24% in China

Apple Inc. saw a significant decline in smartphone sales in China during the first six weeks of 2024 amid intense competition and pricing pressures in the world’s largest market for handsets. iPhone sales plummeted 24% year-over-year, dropping Apple to fourth place with a diminished market share as Chinese tech giant Huawei mounted a resurgence.

Huawei’s sales soared 64%, propelled by strong demand for its flagship Mate 60 series, enabling it to secure the No. 2 spot with a 17% share of the Chinese smartphone market. Vivo claimed the top position in market share among brands. Apple faced an uphill battle as Huawei rebounded and rivals like OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi aggressively undercut iPhone pricing. A lack of standout features on newer iPhone models also contributed to longer consumer device refresh cycles.

Overall smartphone sales in China contracted by 7% year-over-year in the first quarter, with weaker performances by OPPO and Vivo. While Apple could see a temporary sales boost from recent promotional campaigns around International Women’s Day, research firm Counterpoint projects muted growth through March due to subdued consumer spending and fewer major product launches. The firm expects low single-digit sales increases for the broader Chinese smartphone market in early 2024.

Apple Stock Dips Premarket

Apple Inc. stock took a tumble on Monday, falling 2.54% to close at $175.10, and slid further in pre-market trading Tuesday, dropping another 1.56% to $172.37. The previous session’s close was $179.66, with the stock opening at $176.15 Monday and fluctuating between $173.79 and $176.90. Apple has traded in a 52-week range of $147.61 to $199.62, with a trading volume of 80,015,859 shares, well above the average of 56,430,710. The tech bellwether currently has a market capitalization of $2.774 trillion, a trailing price-earnings ratio of 27.93, and trailing 12-month earnings per share of $6.27.

Apple’s forward dividend is $0.96, with a yield of 0.53%, and the ex-dividend date is February 9, 2024. Analysts have set a 1-year target price estimate of $185.60 for the iPhone maker’s stock.

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