Apple iPhone No. 1 in China smartphone market share

The incredible popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China in Q4 2014 has led Apple to take first place in the Chinese smart phone market for the first time by units shipped.

This is an amazing result, given that the average selling price of Apple’s handsets is nearly double those of its nearest competitors.

While Chinese smart phone vendors are quickly gaining ground internationally, Apple has turned the tables on them in their home market. The company is finally riding the large screen and LTE trends in China, which have been vital to its success, along with a well-timed launch and a clampdown on grey exports of its products out of Hong Kong.

The top four vendors in Q4 in China by units shipped were Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, respectively.

Source: Canalys

MacDailyNews Take: Bloodbath. 🙂

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  1. Especially amazing, because iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were not available in China for the entire quarter AND there was a worldwide supply constraint for the entire quarter. This CURRENT quarter is going to be BIG for iPhone, with supply finally catching up to demand.

    1. I held on to my Verizon upgrade so I would could get the next generation iPhone. I waited 9 months for that baby, bringing home a 6+. The other 4 iPhone users in my family will get upgrades in 2015. I’m quite sure many others are in a similar situation.

  2. So, is it now OK to start crowing about market share, like the Android and Windows dweebs have been doing for years? Or should one lie low until Apple has majority market share in more countries?

    The cruel taunting and baiting has gone on for years and I would enjoy an opportunity to throw it back in their faces.

    1. Market share is no more relevant today than it was last year. Any manufacturer can artificially boost market share by offering two for one deals, or selling at a loss. Market share is sometimes manipulated for corporate vanity reasons, even though the company concerned might lose out financially by doing so.

      The only metric that really matters to a company is whether they’re making a good profit on what they’re doing, because that’s what keeps their business sustainable. Apple have always done that and these days, the profits are getting even bigger.

      There’s no need to crow about market share. It’s much more classy to take the high ground and be quietly happy that the tables have turned so decisively. The people who previously crowed about market share already know that things have changed. They won’t say anything because to do so would make them look even more foolish than when they thought that market share was a meaningful metric.

    2. It IS tempting, but Apple is not about market share. It focuses on the customer experience, and lets the cards fall where they may. That means Apple’s share today may not always be so high.

      A similar high share moment occurred in the U.S. in the early iPhone years as it redefined what a smart phone was. Then, Android copied it, and companies began throwing hardware together to sell similar functionality at a lower price.

      That same path is likely in China, as low cost local OEMs do the same. Apple will continue to focus on the quality of the customer experience and its ecosystem, while adding hardware improvements that third parties will not be able to copy with off the shelf parts.

      The result will probably be much the same as it is today in the U.S. There will grow a segment who either cannot afford Apple’s iPhone, or who don’t value its ecosystem enough to pay for it, if they do, and will settle for the “good enough” clone.

      Of course, Apple will still suck up the majority of the profits as the clones race to the bottom, again.

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