One iPhone model has other rival OEMs on their toes in China, and it's not the top-of-the-line iPhone 6s nor the larger 6s Plus.
It's the iPhone SE that has rivals spinning in the country, as it's reportedly squeezing notable market share despite previous reports stating that it saw rather lackluster sales.
While it may not be the hottest smartphone worldwide, it definitely made an impact in China. The iPhone SE saw 3.4 million preorders before even launching in the country, and it now seems that it's giving rivals a run for their money.
According to a new report from DigiTimes, the iPhone SE has been biting off sales from Chinese OEMs such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. The publication further notes that Apple's new 4-incher notably affected the earning performance of the four brands.
As a result, handset supply chains in China and Taiwan are reportedly facing inventory losses, prompting suppliers to adjust their strategy.
"Makers in the handset supply chains in Taiwan and China are becoming more conservative about building up inventories for parts and components due to intensifying competition in the China market as a result of the release of the iPhone SE," reports DigiTimes, citing sources from Taiwan's handset supply chain.
The explanation is that last year, OEMs requested high component inventories from their suppliers, but ended up shipping just about 70 or 80 percent of their projections because the iPhone SE came along. This affected the supply chain, so now suppliers apparently decided to produce less.
With the iPhone SE squeezing market share from competitors in China, it makes sense for suppliers to be more cautious when it comes to building up hefty inventories for OEMs.
The iPhone SE's success is attributed mainly to its powerful hardware packed into a small form factor. The 4-inch iPhone sports the same Apple A9 processor powering the high-end iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, rocks the same 12-megapixel rear camera found on the flagship and supports Apple Pay, Touch ID and Live Photos (although it doesn't have 3D Touch).