It’s a difficult thing getting western products into China – companies trying to peddle tech in the closed economy in the country often tread carefully to avoid friction with the Chinese government. But today, it seems Apple has navigated the hurdles and come out on top, with iPhone sales taking the top spot in Chinese smartphone markets.
It’s not exactly a revelation – Apple’s Tim Cook had already predicted that one day Apple’s biggest market would lie in China, but the announcement of the new figures has surprised some, as it came far sooner than many had expected.
Industry analysis firm Canalys reports that the iPhone has not only been very popular within China, but also local smartphone creators have been turned aside in favor of Apple’s phones – however, indigenous smartphone development in China is also increasing.
The incredible popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China in Q4 2014 has led Apple to take first place in the Chinese smart phone market for the first time by units shipped. This is an amazing result, given that the average selling price of Apple’s handsets is nearly double those of its nearest competitors.
– Canalys, industry analysis service.
China is just experiencing the new wave of large screen smartphones and those imbued with wireless internet connectivity on the go – the iPhone manages to do both of these perfectly. Chinese smartphone developers themselves are also experiencing the new trend and reacting accordingly.
Canalys figures showed that the Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei respectively were left in Apple’s wake at the second third and fourth places on the figures. Xiaomi has recently been re-inventing themselves with several unique pieces of tech, including a range of iPhone killer smartphones as well as a web streaming box that plugs right into the wall and looks like a phone charger.
Back to Apple, the iPhone was so successful in the final months of 2014 that the country accounted for 36% of shipments of the iPhone worldwide, compared to just 24% that went out to US markets. China and its people are exploding with Apple appreciation, with Chinese iPhone shipments up a huge 14% from 22% last year.
Although the phones were shipped out to China, it’s not known with any high degree of accuracy just how many of the phones were sold. Already we’re hearing predictions that the iPhone unit for unit sales in China outnumbered sales in the US, but some are reporting that this may well not be the case.
Apple’s latest earnings report, incoming later today, should hopefully shed some light on the figures in China. No matter what the figures say, the company is arguably becoming very successful in the country.