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China is Apple's fastest growing market for iPhone

Michael Kan, IDG News Service | April 21, 2011
While Apple's iPhone is selling well across the globe, China has emerged as its fastest growing market for the device.

At the end of 2010, Apple had 8.3% of China's smartphone market, an increase from the 5.4% it held at the beginning of the year, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Nokia, Samsung and Motorola continue to lead in the market.

"It's true the iPhone has sold well, but in China, Apple's share of the market is still small," said Wang Yan, a senior analyst with research firm Ovum. In the U.S., Apple leads the smartphone market with a 28.6% share, according to data collected by The Nielsen Company.

Apple's iPhones could have been selling better in China, but the company only slowly began realizing its marketing strategy, Wang said. Analysts have pointed to the supply shortages of Apple's iPhone 4 in China, which lasted for months, along with the company's smaller distribution network for the device in the country.

"I don't think Apple has made China an important market. But I think in the future they will do a better job of paying attention to it," Wang said.

China has more than 850 mobile phone users. Smartphone sales in the country reached an estimated 62 million units in 2010, and are expected to jump to 95 million for this year, according to Analysys International.


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