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Apple grabs No. 5 spot in growing Chinese smartphone market

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
At three times the size of the U.S. market, China has become one of the most important battlegrounds in the smartphone industry, and Apple's iPhone is now the fifth-largest smartphone seller in the country.

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Apple's next iPhone grabbed eight percent of the Chinese market in the first quarter.


In the first quarter of 2013, Apple's iPhone sales were enough to garner 8 percent of China's smartphone market, according to a new analysis from Canalys (via Computerworld). Apple had fallen to sixth place in China for the third and fourth quarter of last year, but increasingly aggressive pricing tactics in the market grew sales last quarter.

Apple still trails chief rival Samsung by a large margin in the country. Samsung strengthened its already strong position in China last quarter, increasing its share from 17.7 percent to 20 percent.

Yulong Computer, Huawei, and Lenovo were the smartphone manufacturers ahead of Apple but trailing Samsung. Apple and its South Korean rival were the only two foreign companies to make the top 10 Chinese smartphone vendors. Domestic producers accounted for roughly 68 percent of Chinese smartphone sales.

With 82 million smartphones sold in the quarter, China is now by far the world's largest market for the devices. In terms of sheer numbers, China's market is more than thrice the size of the U.S., which saw 27 million units shipped in the quarter. The comparative weakness in terms of purchasing power of the average Chinese consumer, though, means that the market is most open to lower cost handsets.

Given its penchant for offering a wide array of phones from low-level to premium, Samsung is particularly suited to address the Chinese market, as evidenced by its strong position there in spite of its foreigner status.

Apple, meanwhile, has seen increasingly strong quarters in the market, despite some cultural obstacles along the way. Apple is thought to be preparing to debut its iPhone on the country's largest carrier. Many observers are uncertain of how successful the iPhone maker can be in the country, though, without a cheaper version of its smartphone to offer consumers.

China's smartphone market grew 156 percent in a year-over-year quarterly comparison. Each of the last five quarters has seen the Chinese market expanding at more than 100 percent year-over-year. China passed the U.S. in terms of active iOS and Android devices in February.
post #2 of 15

Considering that Apple is not even officially on the Chinese carrier with 715M subscribers, I'd say this is pretty darn good.

 

Get that contract with CM done, Apple!

post #3 of 15

I don't know that being on the largest carrier is as much a factor as price. While there are some very rich in China there are a lot who still can not afford top range phones. 

 

I would be very surprised if Samsung sales were made of more than 10% top end phones.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Considering that Apple is not even officially on the Chinese carrier with 715M subscribers, I'd say this is pretty darn good.

 

Get that contract with CM done, Apple!

So we're trusting Canalys now? 1wink.gif

 

Before you answer Canalys had some other estimates to share today.

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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Considering that Apple is not even officially on the Chinese carrier with 715M subscribers, I'd say this is pretty darn good.

Get that contract with CM done, Apple!

It's 726 million now with a net of 16 million new customers over the previous quarter.

They also now have 114 million "3G" customers which I think means they are close to be larger than other single nation carrier's "3G" customer base.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's 726 million now with a net of 16 million new customers over the previous quarter.

They also now have 114 million "3G" customers which I think means they are close to be larger than other single nation carrier's "3G" customer base.

This is, in my opinion, the reason that Apple doesn't "need" a low cost iPhone.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So we're trusting Canalys now? 1wink.gif

 

Before you answer Canalys had some other estimates to share today.

Heh heh. Figures.

 

You don't have the faintest clue about the basis for my argument for IDC's numbers, do you?

 

When/if you do figure it out, then we could consider having an intelligent conversation....

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

This is, in my opinion, the reason that Apple doesn't "need" a low cost iPhone.

I agree they don't need one but I can see a couple paths that would bring one to market. One is to close out competitors and another because China Mobile requested one in order to ink a deal with Apple. But in regards to those that will continue to say they Apple "needs" to launch a cheaper iPhone because the Chinese are so poor let's remember that China bought 2 million iPhone 5's over launch weekend.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heh heh. Figures.

 

You don't have the faintest clue about the basis for my argument for IDC's numbers, do you?

 

When/if you do figure it out, then we could consider having an intelligent conversation....

What does IDC have to do with it? I guess I'm missing something. All I wanted to know is if Canalys is a trusted source for estimates in your opinion, not whether IDC is. You already made your opinion about them clear in a thread a few days back.

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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heh heh. Figures.

 

You don't have the faintest clue about the basis for my argument for IDC's numbers, do you?

 

When/if you do figure it out, then we could consider having an intelligent conversation....

What does IDC have to do with it? I guess I'm missing something. All I wanted to know is if Canalys is a trusted source for estimates in your opinion, not whether IDC is. You already made your opinion about them clear in a thread a few days back.

As I said...

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

I would be very surprised if Samsung sales were made of more than 10% top end phones.

 

Actually, Samsung seems to do better with its nicer phones:
 

"China Mobile, the country's largest mobile carrier with 726 million customers, is also heavily promoting new phones built for its 3G network.

"Samsung was one of the companies to benefit from China Mobile's push, Peng said. The Korean handset maker shipped its most phones ever in China in the quarter, with its Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S3 and mid-range models selling well."

- ComputerWorld - today

 

It's very difficult for an outside company to compete with the super low prices available from the home grown manufacturers in China and India.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As I said...

Ooh, ooh. . .  I missed the announcement of Riddle-time so let me quess. . .

 

Your answer would dismiss the article's claims anyway, since thy're made using an ill-explained methodology that references shipments but doesn't specify sales except for Apple. Therefor we should ignore the Canalys report as it may well be relying on flawed and incomplete data leading to suspect estimates. 

 

Did I win?


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/9/13 at 4:11pm
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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Actually, Samsung seems to do better with its nicer phones:
 

 

It's very difficult for an outside company to compete with the super low prices available from the home grown manufacturers in China and India.

 

"Samsung was one of the companies to benefit from China Mobile's push, Peng said. The Korean handset maker shipped its most phones ever in China in the quarter, with its Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S3 and mid-range models selling well."

 

What the f*ck does "selling well" mean, is it like "smooth" sales?

 

The vast majority of phones Samsung sells are cheap, small screened and low powered.

 

The quote you posted does nothing to refute the obvious truth, obvious by any metric you care to measure.

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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

The vast majority of phones Samsung sells are cheap, small screened and low powered.

 

The quote you posted does nothing to refute the obvious truth, obvious by any metric you care to measure.

 

Then at least attempt to prove it.  Instead of always lazily sniping at what other people post, find some links and references to back up your counterclaims.  Do some work of your own.

 

Thanks!

 

(I used to also think that Samsung only sold low end in China, but have come to change my mind after reading about China's homegrown phone industry's sales.  Ditto for India.

 

As noted in that ComputerWorld and other articles, native Chinese phone makers are selling smartphones as low as $68.   That's about half the price of Samsung's lowest model, AFAIK.)


Edited by KDarling - 5/10/13 at 6:35am
post #15 of 15

Apple should rename their Chinese product, 'The Lucky 888 iPhone' and they'd be sorted.

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