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Apple eyes Asia expansions after losing China market share

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook will be meeting with Singapore's incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and newly-appointed Prime Minister Lawrence Wong as the chief executive continues his tour through Asia. The iPhone maker seeks to expand into other consumer markets after its iPhone shipments to China fell off by 33% in February and competitor Huawei assumes more market share in the nation.

Yahoo Finance Tech Editor Dan Howley highlights Apple's plans for international growth while fighting to regain global market share for smartphone devices.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode.

This post was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.

Video transcript

MADISON MILLS: Apple CEO Tim Cook is at the tail end of his Southeast Asia tour. He is expected to be in Singapore today and tomorrow to meet with the country's next prime minister, who is set to start next month.

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He'll also meet with his predecessor that is according to Bloomberg News. Now, Apple is on the hunt for new growth markets as things are starting to slow in China, when it comes to iPhone sales. And this comes as Chinese tech giant Huawei begins selling the latest models of its smartphone.

So joining us now to discuss the competition there is our very own Dan Howley. Dan?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. That's right. Look, this is part of Apple's long-term strategy of not only diversifying its customer base, but its production base as well. We saw during COVID, how its overreliance on China was, basically, an Achilles heel for the company.

They weren't able to get on iPhones as quickly as they wanted to. They weren't able to get Macs out as quickly as they wanted to. They missed a wave. And then we see that lump in the earnings as a result, where there was that initial period where they weren't getting all of that, those sales that people were going through when it comes for smartphones and laptops during COVID.

Then they had this huge wave, where everything came to market. And they were able to hit that. Now, they're saying, OK, we don't want this to happen again, God forbid something goes on geopolitically, or something like that. Let's try to spread out where we're building devices. And that includes India as well as these other locations.

I think the other thing to really watch out for here is the sales, as you alluded to. They're trying to expand their sales base outside of China. They talk a lot about emerging markets, whether that's India, whether that's Brazil, as well as the likes of Vietnam and Indonesia.

So they're really trying to expand beyond China being such a huge market for them.

SEANA SMITH: And to that end, though, obviously, they need to diversify because of their reliance on China. They've been seeing stiffer competition, it seems, like by the day over there.

What is their current market share look like? Because I believe it's been eroded in the most recent quarter. And then when you have even more competition from Huawei, what that could, potentially, then look like down the road?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. So their global market share has fallen as of the most recent quarter. That's according to IDC. They're supposedly going to be off about 10% iPhone shipments year-over-year. So that's a big drop.

And part of the reason for that is because we're seeing more uptake from Chinese smartphone makers globally. So it's not just in China. It's globally as well. We have Huawei there with their new phone. That's going to be another issue for them going forward.

How can they fight back against these smartphone makers to ensure that they stay top of mind? And it's not just Huawei and those like.

MADISON MILLS: Right. It's a really good point, because we've had a lot of guests saying that the demand is coming from Chinese consumers only, wanting to go more homegrown. But it sounds like it is a bigger problem.