Apple hasn’t had nearly as much luck with the iPhone in China as it has stateside, where the handset is a huge hit and a leading competitor in most aspects. And according to a new report from Bloomberg, this past quarter was no different in terms of the company’s success — or lack thereof — in China.
According to the report, research firm Canalys has found that Apple’s market share in China dipped to a mere 5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, a decrease of 4 percent year-over-year. The reasoning, according to Canalys’s China research director Nicole Peng, is that low-cost Android phones from brands like Lenovo, ZTE, and Xiaomi are dominating the market. Apple, meanwhile, offers only its one (as it stands now) high-end device (which the Chinese generally don’t see as a must-have device like consumers in other markets do) while the mid- to low-end market in China is burgeoning.
Equally unhelpful to Apple’s efforts is the company’s refusal to accept lower subsidies from China’s largest carrier, China Mobile. China Mobile has almost 750 million subscribers, making it not only the largest wireless carrier in the country, but also the world. And unfortunately for Apple, that means it’s missing out on a massive set of customers.
Instead, those consumers are perfectly content with turning to the more affordable handsets. “The smartphone is becoming more of a commodity,” said Shaun Rein, managing director of the China Market Research Group. “And Xiaomi is selling good hardware at a cheap price.”