Apple iPhone sales slump in China

iPhone 5, Android variety and lack of Apple Stores blamed

Apple's share of China's lucrative smartphone market dramatically halved to just 10 percent in April-June 2012. China is Apple's second-largest market, and its where the iPhone is made.

Apple probably needn't worry too much, though, as analysts explain the slump as caused by Chinese customers waiting for the much-rumoured iPhone 5.

See also: Smartphone reviews

More worrying for Apple is the suggestion that Chinese customers are looking elsewhere to Android smartphones due to the similarity between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

"There are two things in play," said IDC analyst TZ Wong, referring to Apple's drop in ranking and market share.

"One is seasonal, people know the new phone is coming. And the second is that the alternatives are becoming much more attractive than a year ago. The iPhone didn't change much over the year."

Another reason for Apple's slipping iPhone sales in China is its lack of visibility on the high street.

Apple has just six stores in China, which has a population of 1.3 billion people - that's one retail store per 216 million Chinese citizens. London, by comparison, also has six Apple Stores but a population of just 8 million.

Apple had planned to have at least 25 stores in China by the end of this year.

See also: iPhone 5 release date

See also: iPad mini release date

IDC reported that during quarter two of this year the 44 million smartphone shipments accounted for 51 percent of China's total mobile imports of 87 million - meaning that, for the first time, smartphones outsold standard feature phones in China.

China is set to overtake the US as the world's biggest smartphone market this year, with demand "driven by generous handset subsidies offered by the three main carriers, increasingly tech-savvy consumers and more feature-packed and affordable products," says Reuters.

Android phone maker Samsung, behind the phenomenally successful Galaxy S3 smartphone, retained its number-one position in China. Its share did, however, dip from 21 percent to 19 percent. See: Samsung phone reviews

Local Chinese brands Lenovo and ZTE pushed Apple to fourth place from second, said IDC. Another Chinese mobile maker Huawei Technologies, which sells its G330D smartphone, came in fifth (down from third).

LePhone maker Lenovo - and the world's second-largest maker of personal computers behind HP - jumped from seventh to second place with 11 percent share.

Smartphone market share in China

1. Samsung

2. Lenovo

3. ZTE

4. Apple

5. Huawei

In the overall Chinese mobile phone market - counting both smartphones and feature phones -Samsung, Nokia and ZTE top the rankings for the second quarter, said IDC.

IDC's Wong told Reuters that it was "inevitable" that Chinese brands would gain more share due to their aggressive marketing and close ties with local carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

"In the mid- to long-term, it's very possible they will start to dominate four of the top five rankings, leaving Samsung as the only one standing. At that point, even Samsung will start to feel the pressure."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Simon Jary

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?