Apple making gains in China even before China Mobile deal

Apple making gains in China even before China Mobile deal

Tim Cook has predicted that, eventually, China would become Apple's largest market. So far so good. According to a study by Counterpoint, which is referenced in this post by Marketwatch, Apple's share of the smartphone market in China rose to 12% in October. This is up from only 3% in September, which is an incredible increase.

Based on the pace of growth of iPhone sales in China Counterpoint said:

This might allow Apple to even reach the No. 1 smartphone player in December or January in China.

Obviously these are based on sales numbers per month, not the installed base. But sales have to happen first. They are the leading indicator. Keep in mind China Mobile sales haven't started yet. It looks like we're just waiting on the official launch of pre-orders of the iPhone 5 at China's largest mobile operator.

Do you think the iPhone 5s could become the most popular smartphone in China next year, and if growth continues, how do you think that will affect Apple's business?

Source: Marketwatch

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Chris Umiastowski

Chris was a sell side financial analyst covering the tech sector for over 10 years. He left the industry to enjoy a change in lifestyle as an entrepreneur, consultant, and technology writer.

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Reader comments

Apple making gains in China even before China Mobile deal


Sure. The iPhone has a strong chance for as long as the Chinese government allows it.

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iPhones have been on sale here for quite a while, and many of my colleagues have them, despite the cost off-contract for China mobile subscribers - for many, around a month's salary, more or less - so contract deals through China mobile will make a big difference. Plus the benefit of the shiny new LTE network they recently rolled out. For me, and many local people I know, we get our Apple fix in Hong Kong and save roughly 20% (tax) compared to the mainland. As they say, one country, two systems.

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Wow. It's great to hear from someone with firsthand experience over there. Do you have anymore incite to the general attitude from locals in anticipation of iPhone being more available?

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The 5s and 5c were both available here on launch day, but maybe because, in general, iPhone has been available here for so long, I don't sense any anticipation from friends about it be more available. In the past, if you really wanted one, you either purchased outright and unlocked, or switched networks. I guess the key point is that China Mobile will be able to offer iPhone on the fastest network in China in the largest market. The initial LTE rollout is only 3 very large cities, but it still means that China Mobile customers who can't afford to buy a smartphone outright, will now have more choice, and that's great! The game is going to heat up, and Apple will do very well in the high-end of the market here.

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Designed in California Assembled in China seems like a winning formula for number one success there. The 4" 5C and 5S are a great pair of models to kick off their new LTE system - especially if most customers opt for the 64-bit A7 M7 5S which portends a long non-obsolete life going forward.

Wow for chinesse who order an iphone online they will not waiting the flight too long like we have here zhengzhou-incheon-alaska-louisville-hometown

Until recently, Apple had to export their products to Hong Kong, or perhaps through a bonded warehouse, or free-trade zone, and then re import into China. This practice is quite common here. I heard they worked out a process with the customs authorities, and will soon ship directly from the factories.

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I think Android will still have the majority of China's smartphone market share but I agree that Apple would become one of the most popular smartphone in China by next year.