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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Apple Shares Fall On Chinese Report That iPhone Shipments Plunged 33%  

Apple shares fell in premarket trading in New York after official Chinese data showed iPhone shipments plunged 33% in February, compared with the same month last year, in the world’s second-largest economy—or the world’s largest smartphone market. These institutional desks, BarclaysPiper Sandlerand Jefferies, first warned of this downturn in iPhone sales in early January.  

Bloomberg cites Academy of Information and Communications Technology figures that show foreign smartphone makers only shipped 2.4 million smartphones last month. Apple was a majority of these shipments. This decline marks the second consecutive month of lower shipments. 

According to the data, Apple shipped 5.5 million units in January, or about 39% fewer handsets than in the prior year. 

“Apple’s retail channels in China are still digesting the shipment from the fourth quarter of 2023, which could explain the drop in recent months,” Nicole Peng, an analyst at Canalys, wrote in a note. 

Peng continued:

“But it’s a sign of a slowing trend for the upcoming months for Apple in China, especially when the Chinese peers are driving very aggressively the AI smartphone messages.”

Shares of Apple fell slightly on the report. 

Nasdaq futures reversed overnight gains. 

Bloomberg pointed out, “The overall Chinese smartphone market also contracted by almost a third in February, illustrating a wider consumer reluctance to spend on discretionary items.” 

At the start of the year, Barclays analyst Tim Long slashed Apple from “Equal-Weight” to “Underweight” with a slight downshift in price target, from $161 to $160, based on the thesis of a slowdown in iPhone and MacBook sales.  

Piper Sandler analysts led by Harsh Kumar also downgraded Apple from “Overweight” to “Neutral” with a price target of $205, down from $220 in early January—the reason: deteriorating outlook for iPhone sales and macro weakness.

And Jeffries analyst Edison Lee also outlined months ago about the iPhone sales slump in China. 

Apple also faces rising competitive pressures from domestic brands, such as Huawei, spurred by “patriotic fervor” amid the tech war with the US. 

This post was originally published on this site

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