Apple (AAPL) iPhone Discounts in China: Competing with Huawei

By Patricia Miller


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Apple faces fierce competition in China as authorized retailers offer significant discounts on the latest iPhone series. Learn what this means for retail investors.

Apple Inc Logo against pink backdrop. People shopping for iPhones.
China's iPhone Price Cuts to Battle Huawei

What You Need To Know

Apple-authorized retailers in China are offering significant discounts on the latest iPhone series to boost sales and compete with domestic brands like Huawei. For example, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is being discounted on Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and These discounts are part of the platforms' International Women's Day promotion. The price cuts by authorized dealers exceed Apple's maximum discount of 500 yuan on its official online store in January.

This indicates that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is aware of its growing inventory of iPhones. The competition from local vendors like Huawei has pressured Apple in China's smartphone market. Experts suggest that the narrowing gap in features offered by iPhones and high-end Android models and the popularity of foldable phones and generative artificial intelligence functions have affected iPhone sales in the country.

It is predicted that there will be a continuous decline in iPhone shipments in China this year due to these factors.

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Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Market Insight: Understanding the competitive landscape and market dynamics is crucial for retail investors. The discounts on Apple's latest iPhone series in China highlight the intense competition between Apple and domestic brands, which can provide valuable insights into the performance and positioning of these companies.

  2. Sales Performance: Apple's sales performance in China has a direct impact on its financial results. Retail investors can gauge the potential impact on Apple's revenue and profitability by monitoring these discounts and the overall demand for iPhones in China.

  3. Competitive Analysis: The increasing market share of local brands like Huawei in China's smartphone market signifies a shift in consumer preferences. Retail investors can use this information to assess the competitive strength of different companies operating in the sector and make informed investment decisions.

  4. Market Trends: The Chinese market often reflects broader global trends in the technology and smartphone industry. Retail investors can gain insights into market trends, such as the rising demand for high-end Android models and foldable phones, which can influence investment decisions in related sectors or companies.

  5. Overall Company Performance: China is a significant market for Apple, and its performance in the country can impact its overall financial health. By monitoring Apple's sales and market position in China, retail investors can assess the company's ability to adapt and compete in one of the world's largest consumer markets.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Growth Investing

Analyze the performance of local brands like Huawei in the Chinese smartphone market and assess their growth potential, which can guide investment decisions.

Growth investing focuses on stocks of companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to other stocks in the market; learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.

Defensive investing

Evaluate the impact of competition on Apple's sales in China and consider defensive strategies to protect investments in the tech sector.

Defensive Investing focuses on securing a portfolio by choosing companies less sensitive to economic downturns.

Contrarian Investing

Assess whether the discounted prices on Apple's iPhones in China present a contrarian investment opportunity, considering the long-term potential of the company and its ability to regain market share.

Contrarian investing involves taking positions against prevailing market trends on the belief that the crowd is wrong.

Sector Rotation

Monitor the performance of the smartphone industry in China and consider rotating investments between sectors based on the competition between Apple and local brands.

Sector Rotation is shifting investment capital from one industry sector to another to take advantage of the economic cycle.

Geographic Diversification

Understand the challenges faced by Apple in China and consider diversifying investments across different geographic regions to mitigate the risks associated with a competitive market.

Geographic Diversification expands a portfolio's reach by investing in assets across different regions to mitigate the risk associated with any single country.

Read What Others Are Saying

Bloomberg: Goldman Cuts Apple (AAPL) From Top Buys List After Stock Underperforms

South China Morning Post: Chinese-made phones are calling the shots in Africa as they beat global giants Samsung and Apple

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What you should read next:

Popular ETFs

Some investors prefer to invest in stocks via an exchange-traded fund for ease and reduced risk. Some popular ETFs include the following:

  • Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK): This ETF offers exposure to technology and telecom sectors of the S&P 500, including companies in the technology hardware, storage, and peripherals industry, which would cover companies like Apple.

  • Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): Similar to XLK, VGT focuses on the technology sector, including tech giants and smaller tech firms, providing broad exposure to the U.S. technology sector.

  • KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB): This ETF targets Chinese internet companies, which can include tech companies that compete in similar spaces as Apple and Huawei, offering a view into the digital and tech landscape in China.

  • iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX): Given the importance of semiconductors in smartphones, an ETF focusing on semiconductor companies could be relevant. SOXX includes companies that design, manufacture, and distribute semiconductors, which are crucial for both Apple's and Huawei's products.

  • Global X MSCI China Communication Services ETF (CHIC): This ETF offers exposure to the communication services sector in China, which includes companies that may directly compete with or supply to firms like Huawei and Apple.

  • iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI): For broader exposure to the Chinese market, MCHI includes large and mid-sized companies in China, providing a wider view that encompasses technology and other sectors.

  • First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY): Considering the growing importance of cloud services for tech companies, SKYY invests in companies involved in the cloud computing industry, which is increasingly relevant for companies focused on mobile technologies and AI.

Explore more on these topics:



This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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