Home > HUAWEI > Apple Is Dominating in China. That Should Be Good for Earnings — and the Stock.

Apple Is Dominating in China. That Should Be Good for Earnings — and the Stock.

Apple captured 23% of the Chinese smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 16% a year ago and its most ever, according to research published Wednesday by Counterpoint, an Asian industry analysis group. This is the first time the tech giant has been the leading vendor in China since the end of 2015, when it released the iPhone 6.

The recent surge in sales can be put down to the success of the iPhone 13, which was released in September, and declining market share for domestic competitor Huawei as it faces U.S. sanctions, Counterpoint said.

A shining fourth quarter in China brings Apple’s total market share in the country to 16% across all of 2021, up from 11% a year ago and just six percentage points behind Vivo, the leader by market share.

“Apple’s stellar performance was driven by a mix of its pricing strategy and gain from Huawei’s premium base,” Counterpoint analyst Mengmeng Zhang said. “The new iPhone 13 has led the success due to a relatively lower starting price at its release in China, as well as the new camera and 5G features.”

Apple stock was 1.1% higher in premarket trading, compared with a 0.3% rise inNasdaq 100 futures, which track the tech-stock heavyNasdaq Composite index.

Apple Is Dominating in China. That Should Be Good for Earnings — and the Stock.

The update is good news ahead of Apple’s earnings because the stock price is typically highly reliant on iPhone sales, which are a key driver for the company’s profits.

Wall Street expects Apple to report $119 billion in revenue for the last quarter of 2021, up 7% from a year ago, with iPhone sales up 3% from 2020 to $67.6 billion.

Strong results from the tech giant later Thursday, in the form of estimate-beating sales, earnings, or particularly guidance, would be very welcome on Wall Street. Tech stocks have been in a rut all year, with the Nasdaq down 14.5% since the start of 2022. Apple stock has declined more than 12% over the same period.

Good earnings and upbeat growth prospects could help change the narrative, and get investors back to being bullish on tech. When Microsoft(MSFT) posted results after the bell Tuesday — which included record sales and an upbeat outlook — it helped U.S. stock market futures for the next day turn positive.

Beyond Apple, Counterpoint’s research showed that, as a whole, Chinese smartphone sales are continuing a downward trend, falling 2% in the last three months of the year on a quarterly basis and declining 9% from the same period a year ago.

“The market in China continues to decline due to various factors in both the supply side and the demand side,” analyst Ivan Lam said. Counterpoint said that ongoing component shortages and a fall in domestic spending were among the reasons to blame.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com

Prev: Vaio SX14 (2021) review: Swing and a miss

Next: EMQQ Non-China Story Is Interesting