China is a highly valuable country for any company, especially when it comes to the smartphone market. China’s smartphone market has recently grown to three times the size of the U.S.’s, with Apple being one of the top 5 smartphone vendors in the country.
Apple has retaken its spot as the fifth largest smartphone vendor in the country, with the company now possessing 8% of the country’s smartphone market. Apple trails Samsung, the top vendor in the country, that has a 20% share. Between Samsung and Apple, there also sits Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific, Huawei, and Lenovo. Samsung and Apple are the only two non-Chinese companies to feature in the country’s top 10 smartphone vendors.
Apple had previously fallen to 6th spot in the country, but analyst Nicole Peng states that, “iPhone 5 sales, along with price cuts to older iPhone models, propelled the company’s smartphone shipments in China’s intensely competitive market.”
There seems to be a massive smartphone boom happening right now in China. In Q1 2012, U.S. vendors shipped roughly the same number of smartphones to China as it produced for America. Now, however, 82 million smartphones were shipped to China by U.S. vendors in Q1 of this year versus just 27 million that were shipped to the U.S.
If Apple wants to catch up to Samsung in this exploding market, the company will likely have to release a lower-cost iPhone to appease the region’s poorer residents. While people often think of how a lower-cost iPhone would succeed in the U.S., it’s really countries like China that Apple is after with such a product.