Chinese Smartphone Market Slows As Apple Market Share Grows

User growth in the world’s largest smartphone market is slowing. That’s according to IDC estimates of Q1 2015 smartphone shipments. Despite this, Apple has managed to grab the top spot in terms of Q1 market share in the country. The firm is measuring shipments and not ultimate sales to Chinese consumers. Nonetheless, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have powered significant […]

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User growth in the world’s largest smartphone market is slowing. That’s according to IDC estimates of Q1 2015 smartphone shipments. Despite this, Apple has managed to grab the top spot in terms of Q1 market share in the country.

The firm is measuring shipments and not ultimate sales to Chinese consumers. Nonetheless, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have powered significant growth for Apple around the world. Beyond Apple only home-grown Chinese brands (Xiaomi, Huawei) grew, while Samsung and others saw year over year declines according to IDC.

Q1 2015 IDC

Source: IDC 

The slowing is driven by “reduced operator subsidies” and by the fact that there are relatively few mobile subscribers in China left to upgrade to smartphones.

Analyst estimates put Chinese smartphone penetration at roughly 90 percent. This may be an aggressive estimate but other third party sources also assert there are already nearly 1.3 billion mobile phones in a country of roughly 1.4 billion people.

China now becomes a market for brand and OS switching. IDC also argues that we’ll see more aggressive expansion by Xiaomi and Huawei outside China as the Chinese market sees only modest to flat growth this year.

Back in the US enterprise and public sector markets, the iPhone 6 made up 26 percent of all activations reported by Good Technology in its Q1 Mobility Index Report. Apple retained its overall leadership position with 72 percent in Q1. However that was down a point, while “Android ticked up 1 percent to 26 percent.”

Apple and Samsung combined to control 28 of the top 30 device spots in the Mobility Index. According to Good, iOS has not dropped below 70 percent market share since the introduction of the iPhone 6.

When it comes to tablets, Apple had an 81 percent activation share in the first quarter. But this represented a drop of 11 percent since Q1 2014. Android and Windows Surface tablets have both gained, with Android Q1 activations at 15 percent and Windows at 4 percent.

The data are aggregated from Good Technology’s worldwide customer base.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About the author

Greg Sterling
Contributor
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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