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Apple Battling iPhone Sales Decline amid Strong Global Smartphone Market

As the global smartphone market expands, Apple faces a challenging period with sales declining in almost every market globally. The Company’s iPhone sales are down about 10 percent in the first three months of 2024.

BBC News reports that Apple has reported a decline in sales in almost every market across the globe, with the exception of Europe, according to its latest financial results. The tech giant stated that the demand for its smartphones dropped by more than 10 percent in the first three months of this year, contributing to an overall sales decline of four percent to $90.8 billion. Despite the dip, the results were not as poor as expected, leading to a small rise in Apple’s share price.

Apple attributes the decline to Coronavirus-related supply disruptions, which had caused unusually strong sales during the same period last year. The company remains optimistic, anticipating sales to rebound in the coming months, driven by upcoming product launches and investments in AI.

In the critical greater China market, sales dropped by eight percent. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook attempted to reassure investors about the state of the business in China, noting that iPhone sales were actually up in “mainland” China. Cook maintains a positive long-term view of the Chinese market, despite intensifying competition from local rivals such as Huawei.

Gil Luria, senior software analyst at DA Davidson, commented on the competition in China, stating that local brands like Huawei perform well due to their status as homegrown brands. However, Luria believes that the iPhone still holds an advantage in terms of features, functionality, and prestige, making it the preferred choice for consumers with the resources to buy it.

Apple’s struggles come amidst a period of growth in the global smartphone market, with shipments rising 10 percent in the first three months of the year. Luria attributes Apple’s challenges to a lack of significant improvements in the iPhone since the launch of the iPhone 12 almost four years ago.

Apple is also dealing with legal battles with regulators in the US and Europe over its app store fees. A separate anti-monopoly lawsuit in the US against Google threatens the lucrative payments Apple receives from the search giant in exchange for making Google the default search engine on Safari, Apple’s internet browser.

Despite the challenges, Apple reported flat pre-tax profit for the three months at $28 billion and announced that it was setting aside $110 billion to buy back shares. According to finance chief Luca Maestri, Apple sales are expected to rise in the “low single digits” in the three months to June, with double-digit growth expected in the services business.



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