A new report shows that users of iPhones in China earn significantly less than those who use local brands such as Huawei and Xiaomi.
Such iPhone users are seen as part of the “invisible poor,” a group who seem capable of spending more than they can actually afford.
On the other hand, Huawei phone users are married males aged 25 to 34. They hold a diploma or a bachelor’s degree and earn a monthly income of 5,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan ($720 to $2,880).
College graduates and income earners of over 20,000 yuan ($2,880) opt for Huawei or Xiaomi phones, while majority of income earners between 3,000 yuan ($432) and 10,000 yuan ($1,440) use Vivo or Oppo phones.
Aside from the difference in earnings, a large fraction of Huawei users also own properties such as cars and homes, the South China Morning Post noted.
It turns out that older and secondhand iPhones are popular in China. Launched in 2014, the iPhone 6 takes the top spot among Apple users with a share of 16.1%.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come in second and third with shares of 14.4% and 12.5%, respectively.
Among Huawei users, the 2016 Mate 9 remains the top choice at 3.9%. Huawei P9 and Huawei Glory 8 Youth Edition both come in second place at 3%.
Released in 2015, Huawei Mate 8 takes the third spot at 2.8%.
The iPhone XS, the latest iteration of Apple’s flagship mobile phone, has recorded weak sales since its release in China.
Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall claims that the “rapidly slowing consumer demand” in the country suggests a 15% year-over-year decline, which poses an immediate impact on Apple.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will be immune to a 10% to 15% decline not only because of the new models, but its improvement in technology.
In a report from October seen by Apple Insider, Kuo wrote that the demand for iPhones in China may be affected by concerns of a potential trade war with the US, preference on “more affordable legacy iPhone models” and the eventual release of iPhone XR.
Still, the iPhone XR failed to achieve expected sales in its Chinese release, SCMP noted in another report. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple reduced orders from two component suppliers by around 30% less than originally planned.
The decision was reportedly made two weeks before the handset — a follow-up to the iPhone 8 and a cheaper alternative to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — hit the shelves.