Apple’s share of China’s huge smartphone market has increased again, according to recent data, in a move credited to strong sales of its flagship iPhone 5s handset in the developing nation.
The news comes from IDC and reached us from The Wall Street Journal. According to the data, the recent increase saw Apple’s share of China’s smartphone market grow from six percent in the third quarter of 2013 to seven percent in Q4.
Significantly, the fourth quarter was the first full quarter after Apple released its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in the country, and sales of the flagship handset in China are said to have driven Apple’s share of the market up.
China’s smartphone market, however, is still dominated by Android-powered handsets and even with its higher share, Apple is nevertheless the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in the country.
Samsung holds the No. 1 position with 19 percent of the market, and Lenovo has a 13 percent share, taking second-place. Coolpad and Huawei take 11 and 10 percent, respectively, and come in at third- and fourth-place.
IDC noted that Apple’s fifth-place position is presently under threat from Xiaomi, the company often referred to as the “Chinese Apple.” Steve Wozniak even endorsed a Xiaomi handset earlier this year, and according to one IDC analyst, the company “is still rising, at some point it could come into top five on the growth path it’s on.”
The Wall Street Journal, however, rightly notes that Apple’s China Mobile deal should continue to foster promising iPhone sales in the coming months:
Still, Apple, which sat just above Xiaomi in the fourth quarter, is expected to get a boost of its own in the current quarter through March due to its new agreement to sell its phones through China Mobile, which is by far the country’s largest carrier with more than 760 million subscribers. China Mobile, which started selling iPhones Jan. 17, is expanding its speedier fourth-generation network in the country, and the iPhone is expected to play a major role in getting more subscribers to sign up for 4G services.
Though despite this, many are still claiming that Apple won’t make a proper impact in China until the Cupertino, Calif. company offers the market a “phablet” iPhone handset.
This could happen with the iPhone 6, according to a handful of reports. Though of course, we’ll know nothing for certain until Apple makes the announcement later this year.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
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