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Print 25 comment(s) - last by aliasfox.. on Apr 11 at 9:51 AM

iPhone remains a prestige item, but Android is boosted by local manufacturers

There is no denying that the Chinese love the iPhone.  Initial sales back in the first couple generations were slow, based on poor pricing, versus nearby neighbor Hong Kong.  But the Chinese market quickly shifted, developing a lust for both the Apple iPad and iPhone.  In this rapidly developing nation -- the world's largest smartphone market -- the pricey iPhone has become a shining status symbol that some would quite literally give an organ for.

And yet in the People's Republic, Android is proving to be the people's phone.  Analysys International reports that Android has risen from 33.6 percent market share (2010) to 65 percent (2011).

That's more than 10 times the 2011 market share of iOS -- 5.7 percent, up from 4.1 percent in 2010.

Apple sees China as a key growth market, largely because of the market's massive size.  China has 988 million total cell phone subscribers -- the most of any nation in the world.  Many of those subscribers have switched to smartphones.

China iPhone 4S
The iPhone is a powerful status symbol in China, but is nowhere near Android in sales.
[Image Source: MIC Gadget]

The fruity gadgetmaker's biggest problem in the Asian market is also its greatest appeal -- its price.  IPhone sales in China tend to be primarily concentrated in the nation's richest cities like the capital city of Beijing or Shanghai, the largest city in the world.

Android handsets, on the other hand are cheap, thanks in part to domestic production from Chinese handset-makers like Huawei and ZTE Corp. (SHE:000063).  The platform's gains came largely at the expense of Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) which is still relying on the defunct Symbian smartphone operating system as it makes the transition to Windows Phone.  Once a leader in the Chinese market Nokia's market share was more than halved, settling at 18.7 percent for the year.

Android was the world's top smartphone operating system, by unit sales, in 2011.  However, Apple makes orders of magnitude more profit per handset, and managed to squeak by the top Android phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) in global sales, driven by strong American demand.

Source: Reuters



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Price breakdown
By aliasfox on 4/10/2012 1:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested to see what Android phones are selling. $100 320x240 resistive touchscreen 'shanzhai ping' (I think that's what they're referred to - essentially means 'knockoff goods') often run some flavor of Android, and these likely have a big share of the fat bottom end of the market.

Middle market Chinese brands like Huawei and ZTE have probably taken the market from Nokia as it recedes, and with Apple's only offering here being the 3GS, I can see why nearly three year old hardware might not be doing so well.

The only place where Apple truly tries to compete is the high end, and it would be interesting to see a breakdown of 4 and 4s sales vs Galaxy S2s and Nexuses etc.

Lastly, Apple has yet to close a deal with China Mobile, the largest carrier in China. May also impact sales.

The iPhone ecosystem may be hurting it there as well - as a generalization, Chinese will often attempt to load software obtained through less than kosher means - a little more difficult to do that on iOS.




RE: Price breakdown
By dark matter on 4/11/2012 4:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
"Chinese will often attempt to load software obtained through less than kosher means - a little more difficult to do that on iOS."

Why would a Chinese company attempt to load a knocked off version of Android which is free anyway?

Think before you write.


RE: Price breakdown
By aliasfox on 4/11/2012 9:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
Not Android - apps that you would use on the OS.

iOS: Unless you jailbreak, you have to load through iTunes - hard to get around paying.

Android: Multiple stores and probably countless other ways to load.

Talk about thinking before writing...


By lightfoot on 4/10/2012 11:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
The same thing would happen here in the US if people actually had to pay full price for their phone.

Yes, some people would still shell out $600 for a cell-phone, but they would be the vast minority.

As it stands now, you are still paying that $600, but it is spread out over a two year contract, and you don't get a discount if you're off contract or go with a cheaper phone.

One day people will wake up to the scam, but it won't be soon enough.




By 1ceTr0n on 4/10/2012 3:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
We honestly don't care, and neither do I, we want our tech goodies and will pay good money for them. Now give me my Galaxy Note on Verizon damnit Samsung.


More freedom and choices will always win.
By konman795 on 4/10/2012 11:20:20 AM , Rating: 1
The reason Android is so ahead in terms of operating system market share is because of the massive number of choices consumers have. You have cheap Android phones for people who don't have or want to spend lots of money for a smartphone and you have really nice high end Android phones which always set the new bar everyone tries to surpass (or catch up to in some cases).

I love it when iOS supporters say there's only a few iPhones and there's like a million Android phones. This is true, but it's not Android's fault that it's open source and sometimes even more capable than iOS, resulting in the higher adoption rate. Apple isn't about freedom or choice hence the closed system and lack of phone choices. One thing they have over everyone is their profit margins and that is impressive.




By ritualm on 4/10/2012 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
While less choice is bad, more of it isn't necessarily better (see California's governor race when Arnold the Governator was elected).


Funny though
By 1ceTr0n on 4/10/2012 3:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
We honestly don't care, and neither do I. Now give me my Galaxy Note on Verizon damnit Samsung.




Future of Google v. China
By ritualm on 4/10/2012 3:54:53 PM , Rating: 1
Big G's increased market share in China will be a big issue when it comes to diplomacy with China. Keep in mind Google (its "do no evil" ended up being a load of BS but you can bet they'll try it again) and China are not exactly bedfellows in terms of the former doing what the latter wants.




Android
By JackBurton on 4/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android
By nafhan on 4/10/2012 11:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Android, the Walmart of phones.
You get what you need while paying a reasonable price?
Most American's use it?
It keeps people from getting healthcare while destroying small businesses?
Rural folk hang out with Android phones on Friday nights?
They sell groceries?
Margins are small, but they make up for that with volume of sales?

...not clear where you were going with that analogy. :) What chain of stores would iOS be?


RE: Android
By Sarsen on 4/10/2012 12:45:32 PM , Rating: 3
What chain of stores would iOS be?</>

Needless Markup, er, um, Neiman Marcus


RE: Android
By retrospooty on 4/10/2012 12:12:47 PM , Rating: 1
"Ah Android, the Walmart of phones."

I wouldn't say that. Walmart is genrally known for cheap crap. With Android vs. IOS, you can get cheapeoptions, sure, but you can also get a better screen, better phone, better hardware and better OS, 4G qwerty kn, removable battery. Adroid gives you far FAR better phones than IOS, so what exactly is your point? If anything Adroid gives you the entire span from Walmart to Nieman Markus and Saks 5th ave. IOS is just stuck on Macy's all day every day.


Is there a phone branded as Android?
By Shark Tek on 4/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By bah12 on 4/10/2012 10:14:53 AM , Rating: 2
Somewhat valid point. I guess the story should have read, iOS outsells Android. That would be a fair OS to OS comparison. Android fragmentation is a big problem IMO, but I also think you are trolling a bit.


By bah12 on 4/10/2012 10:15:21 AM , Rating: 2
*Android outsells iOS...darn no edit.


By Shark Tek on 4/10/2012 10:17:51 AM , Rating: 1
Jajajaja I know. But I hate when they do comparisons of different granularities.

Operating System with a huge selection of models vs two models (iphone 4/4s)

By the way Android was first there of course will be selling more.


RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By nolisi on 4/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By retrospooty on 4/10/2012 12:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
"I see iOS as having a confinement problem- too few selection. "

Exactly. It's funny how people act as if Android biggest strenght is a weekness. Fragmentation isnt a problem its an asset.

How is having more options a "problem". Want a qwerty kb? removable battery? 4, 4.3, 4.7, 5.3 inch screen? 4g? None of that exists on a iPhone. So ROM updates take longer to release, big deal. Its alot more complex when you have more than 1 current model. When we have the phone we want, there isnt a big push to need an update.


RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By WalksTheWalk on 4/10/2012 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Android's choice of devices and configurations is its biggest asset and liability, the same as iOS's closed model is its largest liability.

With Android, the main system settings and basic operation such as the lock screen will differ from one manufacturer to another. App compatibility across devices is also a challenge, but you can choose between all types of device sizes, hardware functionality and customizations.

With iOS, the interface is the same across device models and app compatibility is better, but your choice of devices is limited to a couple of phones and tablets that do not vary much in their size and configuration.

It all depends on what you prefer. Fanboys go away!


By WalksTheWalk on 4/10/2012 1:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
I meant:

Android's choice of devices and configurations is its biggest asset and liability, the same as iOS's closed model is its largest asset and liability.

</edit>


RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By rocketcuse on 4/10/2012 2:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
So, you are saying App incompatibilities( such as OS version and chip set manufactures) across devices is not fragmented?

Froyo is on still nearly 25% of all android phones and it can only run a fraction of the available apps.

Gingerbread 2.3 is on about 5% of all phones.
Gingerbread 2.3.3+ is on almost 65% of all phones
ICS 4.0+ is on almost 5 % of all phones

Android has been good for me since I moved to a custom ROMs. Without it, I would be stuck on first release Gingerbread 2.3. Instead I am running CM9 ICS and my phone runs better than ever. Just proving, carriers and manufactures don't want to push updates to phones.


By retrospooty on 4/10/2012 2:59:47 PM , Rating: 3
"So, you are saying App incompatibilities( such as OS version and chip set manufactures) across devices is not fragmented?"

I have never run into this issue, notr seen an app that doesnt work on any phone when you get it off the google market/play store. I have one myself and I support over a hundred users with various Android versions.

"I am running CM9 ICS and my phone runs better than ever."

Me too, and loving it.

"Just proving, carriers and manufactures don't want to push updates to phones."

True, they do not. They really want you to buy a new phone, not get an update to an old one that may keep you from buying for another year if not longer.

My point is this... Why would you ever buy a phone based on anything but the features it has today? If it doesnt have what you want, buy something else. If you buy a phone without features you want, in hopes that an update comes later then you arent very bright.


RE: Is there a phone branded as Android?
By BSMonitor on 4/10/2012 11:32:25 AM , Rating: 1
Chinese people get to choose what they buy?


By retrospooty on 4/10/2012 12:09:15 PM , Rating: 3
the 1950's called. They want their joke back. ;)


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