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25 April 2024

Market Round-Up

Market Round-Up

During the first quarter of 2024, Apple experienced a decline in its global market share, primarily attributed to intensified competition from Chinese rivals. Despite a prevailing consumer trend favouring pricier phones for a longer duration, Apple struggled with the emergence of new competition in the premium market sector. The resurgence of Huawei, alongside the rapid growth of Transsion, likely contributed to a notable 10% decrease in iPhone sales in Q1 of 2024.

Moreover, multiple Chinese state firms and government have instructed employees to use local brands rather than Apples iPhone. Further adding to the tech giants’ challenges, Apple has just been ordered to remove WhatsApp and Threads from the Chinese app store, due to national security concerns. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Apple encountered a significant 24% decrease in its Chinese sales for the early weeks of 2024, as opposed to Huawei's remarkable 64% surge, as reported by analysts at Counterpoint. In response to this, the company is looking to strategically expand and diversify its consumer sales and manufacturing base outside of China, transitioning instead to Vietnam.

In the UK, retail sales for March stagnated, most notably in food and department store purchases. This downturn surprised economists, who had anticipated a modest 0.3% sales uptick since inflation has started to ease. Interestingly, automotive fuel sales surged to their highest point since May 2022 amidst this retail landscape.

Lisa Hooker, PwC's industry leader for consumer markets, expressed disappointment at the stagnation but remains optimistic. She suggests that the recent ease of inflation and the initial 2% cut to national insurance will likely take some time before it is reflected in the level of consumer spending. In contrast, Tesco and Next provided a glimmer of hope as both retailers highlighted an improved consumer outlook and projected profit growth for the year of 2024.

Please note that this communication is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the investments mentioned. Investments and income arising from them can fall as well as rise in value.
 
Market Round-Up

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