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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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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.


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