During the recent Alibaba 24-hour Singles’ Day shopping event, the top-selling smartphone brand wasn’t Huawei or Xiaomi – it was Apple.
Alibaba published a list of items in different categories with the highest GMV (gross merchandise value, or sales) and in the mobile phone category, Apple topped the list. However, the company did not release specific sales numbers or the aggregate GMV generated by each company.
The American tech behemoth was one of 237 global brands that exceeded 100 million yuan (or $14.36m) in sales on Singles’ Day. This yearly event, which is also referred to as “Double 11” because it takes place on 11 November, generated record sales of 213.5 billion yuan ($30.8bn). During the 24-hour sale, thousands of individual brands offered huge discounts.
The Chinese company did not publish details about the specific iPhone models that were sold. Chinese smartphone brand Huawei recently overtook Apple to become the second biggest smartphone manufacturer on Earth. On Singles’ Day, however, it had to be satisfied with second place – followed by Xiaomi. Samsung, which in recent years has not been doing well in China, was in the number eight spot.
After going through some tough times in the Chinese market, Apple has recently staged a comeback in the world’s second biggest economy. During the third quarter, the firm notched up an annual increase of 16% in Greater China revenues.
Counterpoint Research’s Research Director Neil Shah told CNBC yesterday that people were waiting for the right time to buy Apple’s expensive new iPhone XS and iPhone XR devices.
He added: “It’s a positive sign for Apple, because normally Xiaomi or Huawei has been the top brand. This shows the Chinese smartphone users are maturing fast and they are looking to buy more high end devices, which is a good sign not only for Apple but other brands.”