Apple now top smartphone vendor in China for first time, research says


Canalys is out with a note on Tuesday saying that Apple has garnered first place in the Chinese smartphone market for the first time by units shipped.

The research firm says the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were behind the large amount of growth in China in the fourth quarter of 2014, pushing the Cupertino-based company to the top spot.

Behind Apple are Xiaomi, Samsung, and Huawei by units shipped – a big feat for Apple considering the price of its smartphones are ridiculously high in China and at times can be very hard to find. Canalys says the large screen and LTE trends in China were vital to Apple’s success for overtaking the powerful Xiaomi in the country.

It’s also interesting Samsung seems to continue struggling in China, in a greater a global slowdown for the company. Xiaomi became the leader in China’s smartphone market in Q2 2014, passing Samsung who once dominated with its corner on the larger screen smartphone market.

Canalys didn’t provide word on specific amount of smartphones shipped by Apple in China, however Apple is set to report its Christmas quarter earnings on Tuesday with more detail. Some analysts are calling worldwide iPhone shipments to be as high as 69 million, shattering previous records.

China has been key behind Apple’s growth. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last fall that “it’s just a matter of time” before China overtakes the US, and that day may finally be here. According to the Financial Times, Apple is expected to announce on Tuesday selling more handsets in China than in the US last quarter.

Source: Canalys