back to article iPhone's market share in China sliced in HALF

Apple's piece of China's smartphone market has almost halved to just 10 per cent in the second quarter as fanbois wait for the next iPhone model or even, gasp, switch brands. For the first time, more people in China were interested in buying smartphones than feature mobes, but Apple's iDevices were only the third favourite in …

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As a probably stupid question...

Was Nokia anywhere? Are they still selling Symbian in China? What % did the windows phone (Lumia et al) manage? I assume it was not very significant as the report didn't mention it at all. Shame for Nokia as the CEO has put all the eggs in the Lumia basket...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a probably stupid question...

There might be a significant twist when the new iPhone is launched, then check the figures. That will give a better true figure.

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Silver badge

Re: As a probably stupid question...

The Lumia series had to have Symbian Belle loaded onto them for the Chinese market because China Telecom wouldn't take them otherwise. Nokia basically had no choice.

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Bronze badge

Re: The Lumia series had to have Symbian Belle loaded onto them for the Chinese

I can't work out if this is a joke or not. (I hope it isn't). I can't find any reference.

It'd be great to have a Lumia with belle on it. (Though as far as I'm aware the N8 would still be somewhat better.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Lumia series had to have Symbian Belle loaded onto them for the Chinese

N9 with Harmattan better still .....

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Re: As a probably stupid question...

Nah. iphone is on its way out. Unless they make a big iPhone they've lost the race

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FAIL

HTC != Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

n/t

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Silver badge

Re: HTC != Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

HTC stands for High Tech Computer corporation. It's a Taiwan company, not apparently connected with Huawei which is a mainland China enterprise.

I suspect Apple will lose ground in China (and internationally) as ZTE and Huawei products appear offering similar features at a quarter of the price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC != Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

I imagine that might be a factor ;) God help them if ZTE/Huawei start making BETTER stuff at a lower price, or perhaps that has actually happened already with the new multi-core sets :P

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Mushroom

If the pricing difference between an iphone and comparable other device is as high as other places then maybe people can't afford them. Maybe they are waiting for the next model. Probably more likely they just know that there are better alternatives.

We'll probably see the same sort of thing happening in other parts of the world as people start to wise up.

If I pay £400 for a phone and then realise that a significant proportion of the profit is spent on repeatedly letting me know I don't have the latest model then I would eventually get tired of it, no matter how fashionable they try to make me believe it is.

The feeling of having a less than adequate phone 6 months into a 2 year contract is easily absorbed when I know I got my S3 for free :)

Good luck to the iphone 5 queuers - I hope it rains.

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Anonymous Coward

Android phones of a similar quality are not much if at all cheaper than an iPhone on contract.

No phone is "free" on contract, they are subsidised.

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Anonymous Coward

At least in the UK, if you want enough minutes, sms & data included in your contract then you can get just about all phones free. Of course they are all subsidised, but the subsidy is a varying amount according to the cost of the device and since you get nothing for free, you are paying for it in your contract. Effectively it's a loan at undisclosed interest rates. This leads to the same contract costing different amounts with different phones.

Last time I looked, an iPhone with 600 mins & 1GB data was about £10 a month more expensive than the same connection with an S3 on Vodafone. In both cases you pay nothing up front but the iPhone will cost you £240 more over the lifetime of the deal. I don't think many people actually think about it like that, I reckon most are concerned that the monthly cost is affordable and never bother to work out how much the whole contract is worth.

The overall contract cost at which you begin to get a free phone is also usually higher for an iPhone than anything else - i.e. free S3 starting at £31 a month, free 4S starting at £46 a month, although you do get less data for the S3. If you wanted a 4S with the same contract as the £31 S3, you'd have to pay something to get the phone. I can't remember the numbers but it was more than I had expected given the relatively high cost of an S3.

Having recently taken an S3 on a 24 month contract, I was rather surprised to find that it's just about impossible and save money (on Vodafone) by buying your own phone & going SIM-only if you want a reasonable number of minutes and data included. I think the only way I could have managed would have been to buy someone else's unwanted upgrade from fleabay. A couple of years ago this was not the case and you could easily beat the overall contract price by going SIM-only if you happened to have cash for the phone upfront.

Why stay on Vodafone? Because they are the only network I can get a signal at home with and that is primarily due to the SureSignal they gave me.

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FAIL

You'll know you don't have the latest version, because you're mobile manufacturer, or cellco hasn't bothered to release the latest firmware for your phone. Yeah, it's free open source, etc, but you have to go some way to get the latest firmware compared to your fruity friends. (It's possible of course, but really it may become a question of how valuable your time is to you).

http://theunderstatement.com/post/11982112928/android-orphans-visualizing-a-sad-history-of-support

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FAIL

@AC: "Android phones of a similar quality are not much if at all cheaper than an iPhone on contract."

Nope. You can get a Galaxy Nexus for less than an iPhone 4, along with many other Android devices. Perhaps the reason more Android devices are sold is because they are more multifunctional? Heck, just having an SD slot means I have 64GB (32 internal, 32 on card) in my phone, with the option of 32/64 for a total of 96GB (plus the spare 32GB I can swap back in when needed). That capability along makes an Android device loads better than any iDevice for portable media storage and having 1080p recording space.

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Anonymous Coward

In many markets people buy them outright, which would make something half the price a possibility for many people if the specs were equivalent or better .....

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Was too

I had the same phone for 3 years on a £20 per month contract ... I now have an S3 on a £20 per month contract. Same minutes, same texts, same deal. If I didnt get the new phone then the contract price would have been the same. What they choose to spend that £20 on is no concern of mine, therefore the phone was actually 'free'.

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Anonymous Coward

So instead of enjoying the phone you can get now, Apple users would rather look ahead to the NEXT phone.

I have only one thing to say about that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_4bLNM0axE

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Thumb Up

Whats funny is on these stories all you see is android users slagging of iPhone users, you never seem to see IPhone users commenting on why you should have got and Android phone more than an iPhone.

I mean if a psychologist looked at these arguments they may come to the conclusion that the Android users suffered from a massive case of Mobile Penis Envy.

I mean seriously you don't see iPhone users coming on here to brag out the SIZE, WIDTH of there phones, they just get on with their lives.

Ah well just food for though ;)

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Devil

Probably because iPhone users don't actually have anything to brag about. ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed, iPhone 5 will be obsolete in 3 months from launch

Best wait until the iPhone 6, or get a Galaxy S3 / Xperia S/ HTC one X today...

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Bronze badge

But, I had a Taiwan friend brag that mine was bigger than his...

Hanging out with him and his usa bf, i pressed my HTC EVO 4G against his 4S and said, "Mine is bigger than yours, body and display...."

He angled our phones in the light and looked at his SO (significant other) and said, "Ooh, look honey... His IS bigger!", ausing laughter around us.

I think part of the unspoken wrath-inviting rage and fury apple is feeling is having to eat Jobs' (was it Jobs'?) words that nobody would need a bigger iphone or smart phone bigger than an iphone, proba ly gambling that apple would hold te lead on sleek styling and miniaturization for a few years. That may have been a bid to frighten off potential competition or just a gambit to excel at refusing to refresh the product line on the demandtimetable vs APPLE'S market wizardry timeline. Samsung and others mimicked and likely forced apple to spend more money, sooner, to retool to fend off the rest. I admit the 4S is a nice looking phone, and ANYone copying that will definitely get their asses sued off. But, for me, if i were inclined to buy ianything, the phone is too smalll and too damned expensive to repair if not insured against glass break or cracking. I think some 10 of the iphone 4s' i see have shattered displays, front or rear, and sometimes both. Fixing it might cost some usd $200 per face.

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Anonymous Coward

How about, some people in the population may be less susceptible to certain types of "lifestyle" or "flattering" advertising ..... this probably applies to many other types of products too. "Because You'ŗe Worth It" etc.

I suppose if you were being slightly unkind you could say that people with self-esteem problems (or rampant egos, or flip between the two) are "vulnerable" to this kind of thing. But I'm sure many companies are fully aware of this. You know, like Porsche, Rolex, Cartier, Swarovski, Ugg ... :P

Maybe the Android thing is kind of connected with the opposite, the kind of "no-label" movement. In which case Samsung may have a problem ..... not just Apple!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But, I had a Taiwan friend brag that mine was bigger than his...

And this is presumably "with" Gorilla Glass, WTF is going on? Are the other makers suffering equivalent amounts of breakages? It seems not, but I don't know for sure, or why that might be. Maybe new iPhone users simply not previously used to taking care of a big-screen device in a sensible way?

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Trollface

@El_Fev

I mean seriously you don't see iPhone users coming on here to brag out the SIZE, WIDTH of there phones, they just get on with their lives.

True, but they do brag about their rounded corners and how unique that are.

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Having travelled in China recently, the iPhone is viewed as a status symbol and is displayed prominently by its owner in public settings—similar to Mr. Bean proudly showing off his Gold AMEX card.

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Childcatcher

True, but I observed about the same number per train section as on transit in san francisco and in Korea. But, in Korea, there are seemingly countless small girls or women using the latest, Samsung phones that seem to be 2.7 times larger than an iphone, and they are not even using bluetooth. Another defiance of any statement in the past that the iphone was big enough. I have metat least one persone who dumped his 4s for an evo 4g because his fingers were too big for his 4s.

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Chinese

Actually, the Chinese tend to buy whatever is seen as 'cool' (in their opinion, which can be odd). I saw many iPhones a year or so ago, they were the 'hot' product then. They aren't as loyal to the brand as many in the US as it's not a Chinese phone of course.

Then HTC was 'in', and everyone was buying those. These days they seem to be all about the newer, bigger ones. I've seen a lot of Samsung's, both SIIIs and Notes lately, for some reason. No doubt it will swing back to Apple some when the new one comes out.

The price of an iPhone here is usually about 4-6k RMB, depending on what model and where it was made (eg: HK or mainland). A shiny Samsung S3, by comparison, is about 4-4.5k RMB at the moment (I've been looking, 'cos I'm going to buy one). The price is also different depending upon color!

As an aside, the Apple store that has been in Lido hotel* for ages has been replaced by a Samsung one! I laughed.

*Lido hotel is a very well known, high end, 'laowai'/business hangout here in Beijing.

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Anonymous Coward

Well, considering how quickly they have been overtaken in Europe by Android on smartphones, where we don't really have any native producers apart from Nokia (you know, ones that design in Europe) I can only imagine what a bloodbath it will be for them in China after everyone starts seeing the latest quad-core local gear at favourable prices .....

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Support

As much as I despise Apple, Iphones have way better support than most android phones, including Samsumg ones..

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WTF?

Re: Support

I have had a GS2 for nearly a year now. I am not sure what I would need to call support for.

I install apps on it and uninstall them them but as I don't need to jailbreak it and have no wish to flash ROMS or whatever, it just works. What sort of help would I need on an iPhone then?

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Flame

I would live to think

that people in China are avoiding them because they are as offended by Apples courtroom behaviour as I am.

Sadly, I suspect that people in China are like people everywhere else and mostly don't give a toss.

You never know. Perhaps, like me, they want better smartphones than Apple seem able to make. Do Samsung sell in the PRC?

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