Government data published recently showed that the United States giant Apple Inc shipped about 2.5 million iPhones to China in the month of March which was a slight improvement of the sale of the company in its largest market outside of its home market after recording the worst months ever in terms of sale in the country.
The slow but steady subsiding of the coronavirus pandemic in China has propped up the hopes of smartphone companies all across the world about a strong recovery in demand in China – one of the largest in the world, even as the companies anticipate a drop in demand for smartphones and sale in the rest of the world because of the rapid spread of the pandemic in other countries outside of China and amidst strong projections of a global recession because of the pandemic.
According to data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a government think tank, a total of about 21 million units of smartphones were shipped to China in the month of March. Compared to the performance in the previous month of February when the country was ravaged by the virus pandemic, March recorded a threefold increase in the number of shipments to China of mobile phones. However even that rise was about 20 per cent lower than the number of shipped units in the same month a year ago.
After the virus pandemic and the tough restriction measures to contain the spread of the virus throughout the country resulted in much of the economy of China being brought to a standstill in the first two months of the current year, operations among the majority of Chinese retailers started in early March with the reopening of the brick-and-mortar outlets and the restructuring and revamping of the supply chains and logistics of e-commerce companies.
According to the CAICT, about 500,000 phones were shipped to the Chinese market by Apple in February.
The reopening of the Chinese market has rekindled hopes of many smartphone makers that in the coming months, the drop in demand and sale of smartphones in markets outside of China will be partially offset by a rise of sales in China.
The Chinese market had recovered to roughly 80% of its normal levels, the then-CFO of Xiaomi Corp said in the company’s quarterly earnings call. Later in a letter to the Indian government – the pone of the largest markets of the company, Xiaomi urged the government to consider smartphones an essential commodity and consequently allow the shipment of the products into the country.
Prices of iPhone 11 models were slashed by several online retailers earlier this month. Apple has let third-party sellers in China offer discounts in the past in order to spur demand.
The company is set to announce its quarterly earnings results on April 30.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)