Apple 'Unlikely to Catch up with Samsung' in China

      March 13, 2012 12:27

      Apple is unlikely to overtake Samsung in China, the world's largest market, even though the two electronics giants are engaged in a fierce competition in the global smartphone market, Bloomberg predicted Monday citing a report by market researcher Gartner. It would be hard for "Apple to replace Samsung any time soon" in China, it said.

      According to Gartner, Samsung Electronics was the No. 1 handset maker in the Chinese smartphone market in the fourth quarter of last year with a 24.3 percent share, more than triple Apple's 7.5 percent.

      Apple is supplying iPhones through China Unicom, China's second-largest mobile service provider. It recently added China Telecom, China's third-largest carrier, to its range of partners there. Samsung, along with the two Chinese mobile providers, has also been supplying smartphones through China Mobile, the country's largest telecom.

      "Apple's partnerships with China's second- and third-largest carriers give it access to about 34 percent of the nation's 988 million mobile users, while Samsung targeted the whole market," said Bloomberg. "iPhones aren't sold to China Mobile's 655 million subscribers, a number almost equal to the combined population of the U.S., Brazil and Mexico."

      If it is to supply iPhones to China Mobile, Apple has to change part of its mobile devices because China Mobile is using a unique 3G standard called TD-SCDMA.

      However, the California-based company looks unlikely to deviate from its global policy of selling a standard handset in all markets, rather than customizing models for particular countries.

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