Did Apple Just Double iPhone 4 Sales in China?


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) now ranks fifth in China’s burgeoning smartphone market with a 9 percent share in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from market research firm IDC. According to an earlier report from industry research firm Canalys, Apple had slipped to sixth place in the last quarter of 2012.

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Samsung (SSNLF.PK) still ranks first in the Chinese market with a 19 percent share. However, 47 percent of the smartphones that Samsung shipped retailed for $200 or less.

Incredibly, Apple managed to grow shipments of its base model of iPhone 4 by 211 percent over the previous quarter. A rumored upcoming low-cost iPhone launch from Apple may also help the Cupertino-based company grab an even larger slice of the fast-growing low-end smartphone market in China.

Antonio Wang of IDC China notes, “In China’s smartphone market, Samsung has switched its marketing focus from competing with Apple for high-end market to maintaining its high-end market share, and is starting to strive for market for products under USD 200, which has so far been dominated by domestic brands. However, Apple leverages the incentive policies for channels to inspire the shipments of iPhone4, further expanding its user base.”

IDC’s “China Mobile Phone Quarterly Tracker” report notes that China’s total smartphone shipments in this period totaled 78 million. This is a 117 percent increase over the total number of smartphones shipped in the Chinese market in the first quarter of 2012. IDC predicts that the Chinese smartphone market will continue to expand at a rapid rate and will exceed 460 million units by 2017.

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The IDC report also predicts that smartphones with screen sizes measuring five inches and above will secure a 20 percent share of the Chinese smartphone market by the end of 2013. Here’s how Apple stock has traded so far today.



Here’s how Apple traded on Thursday:

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