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This article was published on February 19, 2014


iPhone launch propels Apple back into China’s top 5 ranking with 7% market share

iPhone launch propels Apple back into China’s top 5 ranking with 7% market share
Jon Russell
Story by

Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

New data about China’s smartphone market shows Apple gained market share in the country in the final quarter of 2013 thanks to the launch of the newest iPhones. The Wall Street Journal reports figures from IDC that give Apple seven percent of the share of shipments, up one percent on the previous quarter.

That increase puts Apple back inside the top five smartphone companies in China, leapfrogging fast-growing startup Xiaomi into fifth place. The figures account for the first full quarter of iPhone 5s and 5c sales in China, but keep in mind that they don’t include any units sold by China Mobile, which began offering the two iPhone models only last month.

Here are IDCs shipments ranking for China in Q4 2013:

  1. Samsung — 19 percent market share
  2. Lenovo — 13 percent market share
  3. Coolpad — 11 percent market share
  4. Huawei — 10 percent market share
  5. Apple — 7 percent market share
  6. Xiaomi — 6 percent market share

Android continues to dominate the Chinese market, but these figures are based on shipments — handsets bought in advance by retailers and operators — so they give an indication of where the industry sees demand, but are not reflective of sales themselves.

That said, Apple can expect to see its share increase now that China Mobile is selling the iPhone. The carrier began selling the new iPhones on January 17 — its prices are higher than its two rivals, which suggests its strategy is to focus on the appeal of its 4G network, which is the first in the country.

Xiaomi, meanwhile, is busy expanding its sales overseas, starting with Southeast Asia, but IDC analyst Melissa Chau told the Journal that its growth path will almost certainly mean that it will re-enter the domestic top five in the future.

Related: IDC: Smartphone shipments in China decreased 4% in Q4 2013, the first drop in over 2 years

Headline image via Neil Bird / Flickr