Last Updated: October 18, 2023, 08:00 IST
Apple has seen massive demand for the new iPhone 15 series models in most countries except one of its important markets this year. Industry reports claim that the sales of iPhone 15 models in China has been lower than last year, which seems to have prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a surprise visit to the country.
The report from Bloomberg claims Cook landed in the country and made his way to the city of Chengdu where he reportedly spoke to gamers. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are aggressively aimed at gamers which could explain his decision to visit the region. Cook has even shared a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, where he is seen interacting with gamers in Chengdu.
In fact, the Apple Chief even met the developers at Tencent behind the popular game Honour of Kings. It is likely that Cook headed over to the Apple Taikoo Li Store in Chengdu. But it goes without saying that Cook’s visit coincides with the company’s iPhone sales faltering amidst the surge in demand for Huawei phones in the country.
Apple will definitely be concerned that the Huawei Mate 60 Pro has outsold the iPhone 15 models in China, as highlighted in a report by Counterpoint Research recently. Purely from numbers, the sales of iPhone 15 in China have been 4.5 percent lower than the iPhone 14 from last year. Huawei is a strong contender in its home market and going by these reports, it seems the local affiliation might have helped its cause.
Apple’s US links are invariably going to affect its image in the country and the ongoing geo-political tension is unlikely to make it any simpler. Huawei is expected to surpass Apple as the top brand in China by 2024 as per an industry report by Jeffries. Analysts also point out that the pandemic had a drastic impact on the smartphone market in China and the country is still reeling from its after effects.
Apple has already realised it needs to reduce dependence on China for manufacturing, bringing the likes of Vietnam and India into the picture. In fact, the new iPhone 15 series have already been put through a mixed approach, where the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have been assembled in India, while the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max continue to be made in China.