Apple has lost its stronghold in the Chinese market as the local ditch their iPhones for Huawei phones. It is not a coincidence that this happening at a time when the US government is making it difficult for Huawei to do business in the American market, which has led to Google removing play store services from Huawei’s devices.
According to newly released figures from QuestMobile, there is a 2% drop of active iOS users from a year ago (June 2019 – June 2020). In the report published by the research firm, 26% of smartphone owners in China uses Huawei’s phones while 21% uses iPhones.
Many of the locals now prefer domestic phone makers largely because it suits their taste and needs. Also, it is important to note that some of Apple products are not available in China such as Apple Arcade and iTunes Movies. Stratechery author and pundit, Ben Thompson, pointed to WeChat’s popularity in China. The Chinese people are more likely to message each other on WeChat than iMessage. And since WeChat is every on iOS and Android platforms, a Chinese Android user can still text its fellow countrymen who use an iPhone.
From the figures released by QuestMobile, only 45% of iPhone users who upgraded their phone remained with Apple. While more than 50% of Huawei users who upgraded their phone stuck with the Chinese brand. If this is to become a trend heading into 2021, Apple is expected to lose more and more users.
Apple has certainly noticed the drop in long-term users, which is why they released the iPhone SE in April. The budget-friendly phone enjoyed a warm reception in China during its launch. The American company will need to continue manufacturing budget-friendly phones like this if they intend to retain their customer base in not only China but other countries where the majority can’t afford expensive flagships.