- Foreign brands accounted for entirety of rebound in demand
- Domestic phone makers have underwhelmed expectations this year
Apple Inc.’s iPhone shipments likely surged in June in China, leading a rebound in the smartphone market after Covid lockdowns lifted.
China’s mobile phone shipments jumped 9.2% last month, led by overseas vendors such as Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. while domestic brands like Xiaomi Corp., Oppo and Vivo were down 0.5%, official data showed. Samsung no longer commands a significant share of the country’s smartphone market whereas Apple is the fourth-largest player, suggesting the bulk of the rebound in demand was for iPhones. The US company will provide details on its Chinese business when it reports earnings later this month.
Chinese smartphone makers have struggled to stir excitement for their handsets this year, hurt by rising costs and souring consumer sentiment. Sony Group Corp. warned at the start of the year that its sales of premium phone camera sensors to Chinese customers came in lower than expected and device shipments have matched that downward trend. Research firm Canalys said this week that all the Chinese smartphone powerhouses saw declines in their global second-quarter shipments.
This past June saw 24.5 million mobile phones shipped by domestic firms, down from 24.6 million the prior year. International companies, on the other hand, went from 1.1 million units to 3.5 million, figures from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed. The data includes feature phones.
The rekindled consumer interest comes after the lifting of Covid lockdowns in major hubs Shanghai and Beijing, and may have gotten a boost from the annual “618” sales and discounts event hosted by online retailers like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc.
— With assistance by Vlad Savov, and Yuan Gao