Apple iPhone Outsells Samsung, Huawei On Alibaba’s Singles Day

Alibaba’s 24-hour Singles Day not only broke records for the Chinese eCommerce leader, but Apple emerged as the top-selling mobile phone vendor during the shopping event.

According to news from CNBC, citing Alibaba, Apple topped the list in the mobile phone category — one retailer among 237 others that surpassed $14.36 million in sales during the Singles Day event. Alibaba provides a list of the categories that have the highest gross merchandise value or sales but doesn’t provide specific figures on units sold. The annual event brought in gross merchandise value of $30.8 billion as shoppers clamored to get steep discounts on all sorts of products.

And, while Alibaba didn’t state which iPhones were in demand, it was still good news for Apple, which has been struggling to boost its market share in the country. Earlier this year, Huawei was able to surpass Apple in China to become the second-place handset maker globally behind Samsung Electronics. CNBC noted that Huawei was the second-highest-selling vendor during Singles Day, with Xiaomi in third place. Samsung fell to eighth place.

“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,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research said. “Since iPhone XS and iPhone XR were already so expensive, so they were looking for the right deal to purchase.”

Apple’s strong showing during Singles Day flies in the face of recent research out of Prophet, the consultancy firm that reported in September that Apple and Nike are losing favor in China. The report on China’s 50 most relevant brands found that Chinese brands now take up 30 of the 50 slots — a significant change from just two years ago, when only 18 local companies made the top 50.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.