Apple loses top spot in China market with shipments down 6.6% in Q1, data shows

FILE PHOTO: People look at the new iPhone 15 Pro as Apple's new iPhone 15 officially goes on sale across China at an Apple store in Shanghai

(Reuters) - Apple lost its crown as China's biggest smartphone seller in the first quarter of 2024 as its smartphone shipments fell 6.6% from a year ago amid intense competition, preliminary data from research firm IDC showed on Thursday.

Honor and Huawei were tied for the top spot, with Honor's market share rising to 17.1% and Huawei's share climbing to 17%, IDC said, while the iPhone maker's market share fell to 15.6%.

The IDC declares a statistical tie when the difference between the share of revenue or shipments between two or more vendors is 0.1% or less.

"Apple's price promotions in the quarter were unable to mitigate the impact of the intense competition from Android players," Arthur Guo, senior research analyst at IDC China said in the report.

Overall smartphone shipments in China rose 6.5% to 69.3 million units, according to IDC.

Earlier this week, data from research firm Counterpoint showed Apple's smartphone shipments in China tumbled 19% in the first quarter of the year, the worst performance since 2020.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)