China has always had a strong desire for the iPhone, and it remains one of the most coveted smartphones in the country. In fact, China, along with Hong Kong and Taiwan, stands as Apple’s third-largest market, contributing a substantial 18% to its total revenue.
Moreover, a significant portion of Apple’s product assembly takes place in this region. However, as the iPhone 15 garners promising pre-order figures, Apple faces a growing threat in China, particularly from Huawei’s recent launch of the Mate 60 Pro, featuring unexpected chip technology.
Huawei’s Chip Innovation
The Mate 60 Pro features the Kirin 9000S chip, boasting 7nm fabrication and 5G support. Remarkably, the production of such chips in China should have been hindered by U.S. sanctions. Apple should not underestimate the implications of this development.
A Formidable Challenge
The resurgence of Huawei poses a significant challenge to Apple, especially in China. Will Wong, a researcher at IDC, remarks, “We can assert that Huawei presents a more substantial challenge to Apple in China than geopolitical issues. This is because Huawei not only enjoys a premium brand image similar to Apple but is also a source of national pride in China.”
Huawei and Apple have been direct competitors in the Chinese market for years, vying for the top position. However, Huawei’s sales plummeted due to its inability to equip its smartphones with 5G technology and the latest chips, a consequence of U.S. sanctions.
The Impact of Technological Advancements
The recent developments, such as those seen in the Mate 60 Pro, could make Huawei’s new phones an enticing option for Chinese consumers once again. Wong adds, “Huawei’s biggest threat lies in the continuous development of technology, not only in chips but also in new form factors, such as foldable devices.”
While Apple enjoys a strong presence in China, its status is no longer guaranteed with the resurgence of Huawei. The Chinese tech giant’s ability to innovate in chip technology and develop appealing products, combined with its national pride and premium brand image, makes it a formidable competitor in the region. To maintain its position in China’s lucrative smartphone market, Apple will need to continue innovating and adapting to changing consumer preferences.