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Apple Faces Worst iPhone Slump Since Covid

Apple Inc.’s iPhone shipments slid a worse-than-projected nearly 10% in the quarter ended in March, reflecting flagging sales in China despite a broader smartphone industry rebound.

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During the pandemic, Apple’s iPhone showed the greatest resilience as consumers pulled back from purchases of smartphones by most of its Android-powered rivals.

The company shipped 50.1 million iPhones in the first three months of the year, according to market tracker IDC, falling shy of the 51.7 million average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. The 9.6% year-on-year drop is the steepest for Apple since Covid lockdowns snarled supply chains in 2022, the researchers said.

The resurgence of rivals from Huawei Technologies Co. to Xiaomi Corp. and a Beijing-imposed ban on foreign devices in the workplace have all weighed on sales. The IDC data provides the first snapshot of the global performance of Apple’s most important product ahead of earnings on May 2.

The drop in iPhone shipments is significant given the overall mobile market registered its best growth in years. Smartphone makers shipped 289.4 million handsets in the period, marking a 7.8% rise from the trough of a year ago, when many manufacturers were grappling with a surfeit of unsold devices.

Samsung Electronics Co. regained the top spot in the March quarter, while budget-focused Transsion increased shipments by 85% and Xiaomi bounced back to close the gap on second-place Apple.

Xiaomi’s 1Q handset shipments of 40.8 million units, according to IDC, jumped 33.8% year over year while both Apple and Samsung declined.

Apple recorded 10% decline as slumping China sales weighed and shares were down less than 1% in premarket trading in New York on Monday.


Image: Apple