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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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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.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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