Apple still top seller in slower quarter

US tech giant outperforms rivals in city despite overall market sales dropping 3.3 per cent to HK$7.4 billion in the period to September

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 3:52am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 5:47pm

Apple kept its top sales ranking in the city for the second consecutive quarter, outselling all other major brands to remain the leading supplier of smartphones, media tablets and notebook computers in the three months to September.

The United States technology giant outsold its rivals during another slow quarter in the market, following strong overall sales in the first three months of the year.

Data from market research firm GfK showed spending on smartphones, tablets and laptop computers fell 3.27 per cent to HK$7.4 billion in the third quarter, compared with HK$7.65 billion in the same period last year.

Shipments of those devices dropped 10 per cent to 1.82 million units from 2.02 million.

Walter Leung, the managing director at GfK, said the market's overall turnover and shipments this year could fall short of last year's numbers, despite the high-profile new product launches by big industry players such as Apple from September.

Sales of smartphones, tablets and laptops in the city totalled HK$29.75 billion last year on shipments of 7.36 million units, according to GfK.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said last month it would be an "iPad Christmas" this year.

Apple last month introduced its new iPad Air and iPad mini with the company's high-resolution "Retina" display. In September, the new iPhone 5s and 5c were launched.

Rival Samsung Electronics, meanwhile, launched the Galaxy Note 3 tablet along with the South Korean company's first wearable consumer electronics device, the Galaxy Gear smart watch, in September.

GfK data showed smartphones rang up lower sales of HK$5.19 billion in Hong Kong in the third quarter from HK$5.46 billion a year ago, as units bought dropped to 1.32 million from 1.58 million.

"Overall sales of smartphones declined by 16.8 per cent, but phablets turned in an outstanding performance by contributing 10 per cent of unit shipments in the third quarter," Leung said.

A "phablet" is a portmanteau of the words "phone" and "tablet".

Dickie Chang, a senior market analyst at technology research firm IDC Asia-Pacific, said Apple led all smartphone suppliers in the city in the past quarter. It was followed by Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and HTC.

Tablet sales rose to HK$1.19 billion from HK$1.18 billion as shipments grew 21 per cent to 359,100 units from 296,700.

IDC said local tablet market leader Apple was followed by Samsung, Asus, Sony and ZTE.

Leung said the HK$2,500-HK$3,000 range for tablets was the most popular in the third quarter, down from the HK$3,500-HK$4,000 range for the whole of last year.

With demand for tablets growing, laptop sales were virtually flat at HK$1.02 billion in the past quarter from HK$1 billion a previous year ago. Shipments rose to 146,400 units from 145,500.

According to IDC, Apple led Lenovo, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Asus in the city's laptop market.