China Manufacturers are Surpassing the Quality of the iPhone

The iPhone XS and XS Max are considered too expensive and not innovative enough in China.


China is the largest smartphone market in the world, with about 790 million people accessing the internet from mobile devices, so going there can be decisive for plans of companies who want to fight at the top of the rankings between the planet.

And apparently, Apple has been losing this space, according to a report published by Reuters. Many Chinese have chosen to bet on lower prices and the higher range of features offered by local companies such as Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi instead of investing in an iPhone.

Market analysts believe that iPhone sales in China have declined drastically due to the high price of the latest models. Therefore, many consumers have chosen to change and move to use Chinese brands. And not only for the price but also because some benefits are better.


Price range matters

During the past year, Apple saw it’s market share fall from 81.2% to 54.6% in the smartphone sector between 500 and 800 euros. The iPhone X was the first iPhone to overcome the barrier of 1,000 euros, and from there the thing began to twist.

Many Chinese buyers of smartphones are not willing to buy a mobile phone for more than $1000. This left a large gap in the segment of less than $800, something that Chinese sellers have taken the advantage.

Huawei, for example, which is currently consolidating itself as the world’s second-largest handset maker and already promises to topple Samsung from the top spot soon, saw its market share of handsets priced between $500 and $800 jump from 8.8% to 26.6% in 2018 according to Counterpoint.

Apple still has a significant market share, but the negative change in such a short period contrasts sharply with the advance of Huawei.

Brands in China already surpass certain features of the iPhone

As reported by Reuters, Chinese vendors have claimed that many consumers have abandoned Apple products to switch to Chinese smartphone brands. And very few do it in reverse.

It is largely due to the aggressive price of the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max. But there are other reasons as well. In China, great importance is given to the new design of smartphones and to their functions. And in this sense, the iPhone is falling far behind the local competition. We are talking, specifically, about the quality of the camera, something that has always been one of the strengths of the company to beat Apple.

Huawei’s cameras have become clearly better than Apple and enjoy the taste of Chinese consumers more and more.

From Apple to the Chinese

The path quoted above is confirmed by some people like He Fan, president of a company that buys and resells used smartphones. According to him, a lot of people traded their iPhone for a Huawei device and the cameras would play a decisive role in that change.

“Huawei’s cameras have become significantly better than Apple’s, and [Huawei’s smartphones] fit the taste of Chinese consumers better,” he said.


Counterpoint research director Neil Shah points out that local companies have well understood the inclinations of Chinese consumers who would not be willing to pay more than $800 on a smartphone.

“Most Chinese smartphone buyers are not ready to spend more than $1,000 on the phone. That left a void in the segment below $800, which Chinese brands grab with both hands,” he said.

Affordable resources

In sum, this mix of price and features that are also left in other parts of the world end up becoming even more evident in China, causing Apple to have problems there and see its already small slice dwindling.

And there is clear potential for the drop to be even greater in the coming years, with Chinese models being launched with innovative features such as built-in fingerprint readers on non-notched screens (or more discreet options) and more competitive pricing.

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