With nearly 520 million smartphone users, more than the entire population of the United States, China is a very important market for technology. According to a report by research firm IDC, Apple recently became the number one seller of smartphones in the world’s biggest market.
Although total smartphone sales shrank 4.3 percent in the past year, Apple sold more smartphones than any other company in the first quarter of 2015. Capturing 14.7 percent of the market share, Apple shipped 14.5 million iPhones to China in the first quarter of this year, marking a 62 percent gain over shipments in Q1 of 2014.
Apple claimed the number one spot when they beat out Chinese-based smartphone companies Xiaomi and Huawei, who shipped 13.5 and 11.2 million units respectively. Samsung, previously one of the top smartphone manufacturers in China, only shipped 9.6 million units. This is a staggering 53 percent drop from their numbers in the first quarter of last year.
Apple’s boost was probably, in large part, due to the release of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. According to IDC, the consumers in China have “a strong appetite for the larger screens of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.” Combined with the availability of the iPhone on all three of China’s largest carriers, we can see why Apple had a record year in China.
The Mi Note Pro, Samsung Galaxy S5, and iPhone 6
While Apple’s first quarter earnings are no doubt impressive, new phones by Xiaomi and Samsung may possibly influence the market in future quarters. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, as well as Xiaomi’s Mi Note Pro, may prove to be popular in the coming months. Time will tell if Apple still holds the crown by the end of the year.