Over the course of 2013 China’s high-speed mobile Internet subscriber base grew by almost 80 percent, indicating that while most smartphone markets internationally are reaching a state of saturation, in China a lot of growth still remains. One company that is expected to benefit from China’s ever-growing smartphone market, of course, is Apple, whose presence in the nation is further increasing as of late.
The report reached us from AppleInsider, which explains that the number of high-speed mobile Internet subscribers in China grew by 79 percent in 2013, “reaching 417 million users.” Though a previous report towards the end of December had suggested that China’s smartphone market - which is the largest in the world - could be reaching saturation, it now appears that the opposite may rather be the case.
Growth of almost 80 percent is huge, and stands to predict a further increase in the number of 3G subscribers in the nation throughout 2014. Citing data provided by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, AppleInsider explains:
As a result, White believes Apple is one of the best positioned companies to benefit from the growth opportunities in China. Even with last year’s blistering pace, there’s still plenty of room to grow in China: Total mobile subscribers grew to 1.23 billion in the country last year.
Towards the end of 2013, high-speed mobile Internet options in China included a super fast TD-LTE cellular data network for the first time, which is offered by the behemoth-carrier China Mobile. Apple’s new iPhones launched with China Mobile last week, and both support the carrier’s TD-LTE wireless band; this, in turn, is expected to further encourage iPhone sales in the nation (not the least because China Mobile’s subscriber base exceeds 760 million).
For Brian White, China Mobile iPhone sales could clock in at 24 million units in 2014, and if this is the case an additional $4.00 per share would be added to Apple stock. It’s no surprise the company’s share prices soared following the confirmation of Apple and China Mobile’s multi-year partnership.
Garter analyst Sandy Shen, on the other hand, doesn’t expect iPhone sales in China to seriously boom until a larger smartphone handset reaches the nation. Earlier this month, Shen said:
We have seen fading enthusiasm for iPhones compared with the past few years as we have more choices in China now. There has been no dramatic change to the iPhone and consumers want a larger screen size.
It could be China’s smartphone market gets what it’s been hoping for later this year, since more than a handful of reports have argued that larger-sized iPhones are set to launch from Apple. Though as usual, we’ll know nothing for sure until an official announcement has been made.
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