What you need to know

  • Smartphone demand in China has fallen more than a third according to new numbers.
  • It’s thought that customers are holding onto their money at a time when COVID-19 continues to impact their lives.
  • Apple is readying its iPhone 14 launch for September and could see demand impacted.

People aren’t spending money on luxury goods, according to reports.

Demand for smartphones across China fell by more than a third in April compared to the same month last year, according to new numbers shared by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. This comes as Apple readies its next iPhone lineup refresh and will be hoping for strong sales in the country.

The WSJ reports that smartphone shipments fell 34% in April with the first four months of the year seeing a reduction of 30% to around 86 million units. This comes after Apple warned recently that the ongoing COVID-19 situation in China could cost it as much as $8 billion this quarter, with many in the country deciding against spending money on luxury items at a time when the country continues to fight the pandemic.

The WSJ reported on one potential iPhone 14 buyer who says she will continue to use an iPhone 12 Pro Max, despite previously upgrading her device annually, because money is tight.

Consumers said they are tightening their purse strings, especially for pricier goods. Zhang Rui, a 43-year-old tech worker in Beijing, said she dropped her plan to buy a new smartphone this year. Ms. Zhang, who uses the iPhone 12 Pro Max and usually updates her device every other year, said she isn’t attracted enough by the new models to pay a high price.

“Cash flow is tight for people due to the pandemic. Are there any smartphone models available that are worth my money?” she said.

That could well be a sentiment expressed globally, with inflation and the geopolitical situation in Europe set to play a part in smartphone demand there, too. While pricing for the new iPhone 14 — set to be the company’s best iPhone to date — hasn’t yet been confirmed, it’s highly unlikely to be less than last year’s iPhone 13. In fact, reports suggest that at least some of the new devices will require a costly camera upgrade with Apple likely to pass that cost on to consumers.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPhone 14 lineup in or around September based on previous release cadences.

Original source: https://www.imore.com/chinese-phone-demand-plunges-apple-readies-costly-iphone-14-launch