Is Asia Dumping the iPhone?

Statistics that prove Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) higher-priced mobile devices are fast losing share in cost-aware Asian markets have been a big cause of worry for investors lately. But according to new surveys, the iPhone may also be losing its status among Asia’s more prestigious-conscious consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong. A combination of iPhone fatigue, customers’ desire to be different, and the availability of a wide range of devices to satisfy that will are hurting Apple, Reuters said.

While there more iOS devices in Singapore per capita than anywhere else in the world in 2010, the share has fallen drastically since. From a peak of 72 percent in January 2012, the share of iOS fell to 50 percent this month, according to StatCounter, which measures traffic collected across 3 million websites. By comparison, [Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)] Android devices now account for 43 percent of the market, up from 20 percent in the same month last year.

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The situation is the same in Hong Kong, where devices running iOS now account for about 30 percent of the total, down from about 45 percent a year ago. Android, meanwhile, accounts for nearly two-thirds. And other Asian markets are known to follow the trends set by Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Singapore and Hong Kong tend to be, from an electronics perspective, leading indicators on what is going to be hot in Western Europe and North America, as well as what is going to take off in the region,” Jim Wagstaff, a mobile app developer, told Reuters.

And price has got nothing to do with this Apple-repelling phenomenon. According to some, the simple fact that there is a lot more variety offered by the multi-manufacturer Android is taking its toll on the iPhone. “Apple is still viewed as a prestigious brand, but there are just so many other cool smartphones out there now that the competition is just much stiffer,” Tom Clayton, chief executive of social media app Bubble Motion told Reuters.

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