While China’s Singles’ Day smartphone sales slightly dropped Year-over-Year, Apple's iPhone sales soared
China preludes the global festival sales season with its Singles’ Day online shopping festival, held from November 1 to November 11 in recent years. Major smartphone OEMs come with discount offers and new models to grab sales share during the shopping festival. However, during the Singles’ Day period this year, the overall sales of smartphones in China went down 0.7% YoY, primarily due to the iPhone 13 series’ early release compared to the iPhone 12 series and Huawei’s decline.
Apple’s sales increased 27% YoY but this hasn’t fully reflected the whole picture. Apple resumed its normal launch cycle this year and unveiled the iPhone 13 series in September. After almost two months, it was incredible to see Apple retaining the third spot when other OEMs were offering price cuts. Due to supply issues, the normal wait time for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max ranges between four and five weeks. Some Chinese customers choose to pay premiums to get the new phones delivered immediately.
The iPhone 13 series sales are expected to outperform that of the iPhone 12 series and part of the iPhone 13 demand will be postponed to Q1 2022 when the traditional Chinese New Year is celebrated.
From being a single-day event, Singles’ Day has now become a three-week shopping season (some vendors start accepting pre-orders on October 20 and begin deliveries on November 1) and is no longer exclusive to online-centric brands. Offline-centric smartphone brands’ offerings focus on value-for-money and mid-tier models during the event. In 2021, such models included the HONOR X30 series, vivo T1 series and Redmi Note 11 series. But no OEM chose to challenge Apple with premium products, reports Archie Zhang, Research Analyst with Counterpoint in Beijing.