Survey: iPhone 5C could give Apple lead in China


One Wall Street analyst has some comforting words for Apple fans watching the iPhone in China submerged under the waves of cheap Android smartphones: wait until the iPhone 5C arrives. Apple’s highly-expected budget handset dubbed the iPhone 5C could pole-vault the Apple brand into first place, overcoming Samsung and other Google-powered devices.

The key to giving the iPhone the lead in China: the right price and wide availability. A Morgan Stanley survey of Chinese smartphone consumers suggests an iPhone costing about $486 and offered by China Mobile could give Apple’s marketshare a double-digit boost…

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, backed by the company’s latest AlphaWise survey, tells investors $486 is seen by Chinese buyers as “an acceptable price range” for the iPhone 5C, reports Fortune Tuesday.

The knock against Apple in China has been its iPhone prices contrasted with sub-$200 homegrown Android devices. This is why the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S – older but less expensive – always outsold newer models.

Morgan Stanley chart (iPhone 5C in China)

The second part of the equation is more out of Apple’s hands, but certainly not out of the question. Almost a third of China smartphone shoppers told surveyors that they would buy an iPhone if it were compatible with China Mobile’s 3G or 4G networks.

Again, this finding illustrates why Apple CEO Tim Cook has made trips to China to speak with executives of the world’s largest carrier.

iPhone 5C boxes (Martin Hajek 001)

In the end, Apple would gain 13.3 percent of China’s smartphone market just by introducing the iPhone 5C at a reasonable price, according to Huberty.

Another six percent would be added if a China Mobile deal was arranged.