Research firm IDC has reported that iPhone market share in China stands at 9% as of Q1, 2013. Samsung leads the market there with a 19% hold.
IDC’s research indicates that Apple’s iPhone is currently the 5th most popular smartphone in the People’s Republic. Samsung has a much greater share primarily because it offers a whole range of Android powered devices as opposed to Apple’s one iOS powered smartphone. Another research firm recently pegged Apple’s share in the market at 8%, while data from these firms is known to vary greatly, there doesn’t seem to be any major contradictions when it comes to Apple.
Despite the fact that iPhone is being offered by two of China’s biggest mobile carriers, Samsung has been able to gain a lead on it because it has focused aggressively on the low-end market share, providing a range of different product at or below $200. The iPhone on the other hand retails for more than double of that off contract, and therein lies the problem.
There are also a number of manufacturers in China, ZTE and Huawei for example, that are offering premium Android smartphones at competitive prices. It is agreed upon by most analysts that to gain a better footing in the Chinese market, which is a lucrative one, Apple needs to make the iPhone more affordable there. Would that be one of the reasons why the company is reportedly interested in making a low cost iPhone? It’s highly likely, but one can’t be sure until Apple officially confirms its plans.