In China, Apple overtaken by Xiaomi in smartphone rankings

Apple needs to consider releasing a lower-end phone to gain market share in China, according to an analyst

A banner advertising phones from Chinese handset maker Xiaomi

A banner advertising phones from Chinese handset maker Xiaomi

Apple saw a dip in its smartphone market share in China as the company was overtaken by local rival Xiaomi, a seller of low-priced handsets that has been making waves in the country's tech industry.

During the second quarter, Apple was ranked seventh among China's smartphone vendors, with a market share of only 5 percent, according to research firm Canalys. This was down 3 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Xiaomi's market share was also at 5 percent, but the company's smartphone shipments narrowly surpassed those of Apple, said Nicole Peng, an analyst with the research firm.

"This is amazing for a company that only started to ship products two years ago," she said. "It's really big progress for a company that is so young."

Xiaomi has achieved part of its success by releasing phones with high-end specs, but at lower prices. In the second quarter, the company began selling an updated version of its flagship product that can go for as low as 1699 yuan (US$275) when bought without a contract. The Android phone features a quad-core 1.7GHz processor from Qualcomm, a 4.3-inch 720p screen, and a 13-megapixel camera.

Xiaomi phones are only sold in China and Taiwan. But the company plans to begin exploring other foreign markets next year. In the meantime, it wants to sell 15 million phones by the end of 2013, double of what it sold in the previous year. The company is expected to unveil a new flagship phone later this month.

Apple saw its share decline in China as the country's smartphone market grows at a breakneck pace. During the quarter, China made up over a third of the total smartphone market in the world, according to Canalys. Shipments to the country grew 108 percent year-over-year in the period, reaching a little over 88 million units. In contrast, shipments to the U.S. only reached about 33 million units.

Consumers in China are holding off buying new iPhones, and are instead waiting for the next model, Peng said. But at the same time, low-end smartphones are currently driving the market, a device segment Apple has yet to address.

"Even Samsung, they actually benefit quite a lot from the mid to low-end market in the quarter," she added. "I think it's time for Apple to re-evaluate their product profile for the Chinese market. The country is big enough for them to consider a localized product for China."

During the quarter, Samsung continued its reign as China's largest smartphone vendor, followed by domestic vendors Lenovo, Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific, ZTE and Huawei.

Rumors continue to circulate that Apple is working on releasing a lower-end iPhone product. Last week, Xiaomi came out with its own budget phone, priced at 799 yuan.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesApplesamsungconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?