Apple losing out on smartphone sales in China to local brands; Cupertino sets sights on India

Apple iPhone sales drop in China; device now fifth most popular smartphone in the country
China is the largest market in the world for smartphones, and is a very important market for Apple and the iPhone. But the bloom is off the rose in the country as far as Apple is concerned. Last quarter when the company reported a year-over-year decline in iPhone sales for the first time in history, sales to the Greater China region (which includes Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Mainland China) declined 26% to $12.49 billion.

According to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales accounted for 10.8% of the Chinese market last quarter, down from 12% during the same time last year. Bloomberg noted that the decline "dropped (Apple) to fifth place in Chinese smartphone shipments, losing ground in its biggest overseas market."

Local brands are taking business away from Apple. 53% of the smartphones rung up in the country last quarter were produced by companies very familiar to Chinese consumers such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo. Meanwhile, Apple has turned its attention to what will soon be the second largest country in the world for smartphone sales, India.

Last quarter, iPhone sales in the country rose 53% year-over-year. The only problem with the Indian market is the low per capita income of $1500 USD. Unable to afford high-end models, Indian consumers are sticking to lower priced handsets. 70% of new phones bought in India last year were priced at $150 or less. Meanwhile, the top selling iPhone in the country is the Apple iPhone 5s, priced at $300. In a bid to lower prices on its handsets, Apple sought permission to sell refurbished iPhones in India. However, the government put the kibosh on Apple's plans by refusing to allow the refurbished units inside the country.

via BGR

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