Apple has fallen from the top spot in China's smartphone market, marking its worst performance since 2020. According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, in the first quarter of 2024, iPhone sales in China declined by 19%, the largest drop since 2020.

Apple's market share in China increased slightly by about 1.5% year-over-year to 15.7%, but the company slid from first to third place. Vivo took the lead with a 17.4% market share, followed by Honor with 16.1%. Huawei, which has seen a significant resurgence, ranked fourth with a 15.5% share, up by 6.2% from the previous year.

The first quarter, which includes the traditionally strong sales season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, highlighted the weakness in iPhone sales. In contrast, Huawei's sales surged by nearly 70%, indicating its aggressive re-entry into the high-end market that Apple once dominated.

Analysts suggest that as one of Apple's largest markets, Chinese consumers are increasingly embracing Huawei's comeback. Ivan Lam, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, noted that Huawei's resurgence has directly impacted Apple's performance in the high-end segment, leading to suppressed sales figures for Apple in the quarter.

Additionally, compared to previous years, there was a slight decline in the demand for Apple's new models.

Earlier reports noted that Apple's global iPhone shipments fell nearly 10% in the first quarter, raising concerns about the company's continued growth potential. So far this year, Apple's stock price has declined by more than 10%, underperforming the broader market, and it has lost its position as the most valuable company to Microsoft.

Apple is scheduled to release its financial results for the first quarter of 2024 on May 2.