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Why Apple’s Market Share in Asia Is Slipping

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How Asian customers view iPhone prices

Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone X caused the tech behemoth’s revenues from iPhones to rise year-over-year (or YoY) in fiscal 1Q18.[1. fiscal 1Q18 ended December 2017] iPhone’s unit sales declined YoY in the quarter due to iPhone X’s price point of $999.

However, the higher selling price seems to have subdued sales in Asia. Customers in Asian countries such as India (EPI) are opting for less expensive smartphones made by Chinese vendors Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, as we saw in the previous part of this series. In 4Q17, Xiaomi overtook Samsung (SSNLF) and has the leading market share in India, the second-largest smartphone market in the world, according to IDC.

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Apple has lost market share in major Asian economies

Another headwind Apple faces in emerging Asian markets is that telecom companies don’t subsidize iPhone prices, unlike telecom companies in the United States. As a result, consumers pay full price in those countries. Apple’s market share has been declining over the years in major Asian markets such as China, India, and Indonesia.

Apple’s struggles in China (FXI), the largest smartphone market in the world, have been well documented. While recent data may suggest that Apple is making a comeback, Apple’s current market share in China is lower than what it was a few years ago. Apple’s stock price is trading flat year-to-date.

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