Apple was the leading phone manufacturer at Alibaba’s Singles Day sales bonanza on November 11. The iPhone maker managed to beat competition from Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi who came in second and third place respectively. Samsung, it was reported, only managed to sneak into eighth place; this is in stark contrast to the U.S. and European markets where Samsung is a leading brand.
While Alibaba revealed that Singles Day saw a total gross merchandise volume (GMV) record of RMB213.5 billion ($30.8 billion), it did not reveal the exact number of unit sales that each company made so it’s difficult to say exactly how well Apple did. One thing we do know, however, is that it was one of more than 200 brands that managed to surpass RMB100 million ($14.36 million) in sales.
According to Neil Shah from Counterpoint Research, who spoke to CNBC, Apple's gains in the Chinese market signifies a maturing of that market and that consumers are looking to “buy more high end devices”. In previous years, Huawei and Xiaomi were the top players to beat but now they’ve begun to wane as Apple cuts a bigger slice of the pie for itself.
It’s not all bad news for the Chinese manufacturers though; over the weekend, Xiaomi finally arrived in the U.K. following years of anticipation from enthusiasts. There’s no doubt that if it manages to grip western markets the same way it did in China it’ll be able to recoup some of their losses to Apple in the Chinese market.