Ever since Apple unveiled its smaller iPhone SE, critics have had mixed views on the device. They believed consumers, especially those in Asia, preferred larger smartphones. They tend to buy smaller iPhones not because they want it, but because they couldn’t afford the larger ones, argued critics. The world’s largest smartphone market has just proved them wrong.
iPhone SE a hit in China?
When the iPhone SE pre-orders opened in China, more than 3.4 million people booked the device during the first weekend. A new report suggests that Apple’s latest smartphone is even stealing the market share from flagship Chinese Android vendors like Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and others. That’s despite the fact that it costs higher than most phones from Chinese players.
The 16GB iPhone SE sells for 3,288 yuan or $507 in China. You can buy a premium Android smartphone from Chinese vendors at half the price. Supply china sources familiar with the matter told DigiTimes that the iPhone SE has forced Chinese vendors to rein in their inventory stockpiling for future component shipments. The publication adds that Chinese companies are now reluctant to build up inventories based on “over-confident shipment prospects.”
Chinese brands may see earnings decline
The new iPhone is expected to affect the earning performance of major Chinese brands. Some camera module suppliers told DigiTimes that last year they were exposed to high levels of inventories as handset brands asked them to pile up inventories amid solid shipment prospects. But most brands shipped only 70% to 80% of their projected shipments for 2015.
Kantar WorldPanel recently said Apple witnessed its first market share decline in China in 12 months ending February 2016. The research firm added that the iPhone SE could reverse the decline. Apple’s 4-inch smartphone comes with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, A9 processor, 16GB and 64GB storage options, 2GB RAM, and 12-megapixel main camera. However, it lacks the 3D Touch display technology that is included in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.