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IDC's Smartphone Shipment Report for Q2-20 shows Apple's growth was the Highest in China, though substantially Subdued

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During Tim Cook's quarter summary for fiscal Q3 2020 his commentary on the iPhone was subdued by simply pointing out that they were able to deliver 2% growth globally. Cook was glad to point out that their premium iPhones dominated the top smartphone lists around the globe and provided a breakdown illustrating this fact.


For calendar Q2 2020, Counterpoint Research provided a smartphone breakdown in China where they claimed that Apple's iPhone delivered +32% growth year-over-year followed by Huawei with +14% growth and the other three Chinese vendors at high declines as illustrated below.


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In a new IDC report published today we see their findings for China's smartphone shipments for calendar Q2 2020 and the stats are strikingly different from Counterpoint Research, especially for Apple as you can see below.



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Apple did in fact lead the pack in Q2, though at a substantially lower rate of +11.6% in stark contrast to Counterpoint's stats at +32%.  Obviously one of the statistics companies got it wrong as the disparity between the two sets of statistics are miles apart when it comes to Apple's performance.


Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific: "China was slowly recovering in the second quarter while other regions were fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. This in turn allowed the Chinese vendors to expand their 5G product portfolio in their home market. In 2020-Q2, almost half of the smartphones in China were shipped with 5G connectivity – ahead of other regions or countries." 


As with the Counterpoint Research report, you have to view Apple's growth in context with the 5G statistics and see Apple's performance doubly impressive being that they didn't deliver a single 5G iPhone in the quarter, completely bucking the trend. With a 5G iPhone, Apple's growth could have been substantially higher.


The good news is that the pent up demand for the 5G iPhone 12 could boost Apple's performance in China in calendar Q4, even though shipments may be limited with a slightly later deliver schedule than normal for various reasons. 


IDC on Apple: Apple achieved positive growth from a year ago in both its shipments and market share. The iPhone SE 2020 contributed 10% of its overall shipments and helped to stimulate its shipments during its off-season. Apple's overall performance was supported by the "618" shopping festival and better offline-channel incentives.


IDC on Huawei: Huawei continued to capture a higher market share at 45.2% with its strong brand image and well-rounded product portfolio. The vendor successfully targeted the US$300-600 segment with its Huawei nova 7 and Honor 30 series, and enhanced its premium position with the Huawei P40 Pro series. For more on the other smartphone players check out the IDC report


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It should be noted that Yu Chengdong, CEO of the Consumer Business Group at Huawei Technologies admitted yesterday during his keynote at the 2020 Summit of the China Information Technology Association, that their High-end Kirin chips on Huawei mobile phones would not be available in the future, and that the shipment of Huawei mobile phones this year will be lower than last year.


The extent of Huawei's problems going forward really depends on who wins the U.S. election in November. A Biden win will likely lead to the US erasing of all Chinese sanctions regarding US technology on Huawei while a Trump win would likely mean more pain for Huawei, as the U.S. would actually escalate its war on China technology companies in 2021.


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