SHAFAQNA – China’s Apple fanboys turned up the heat in the third quarter, pushing iPhone sales in the country past those recorded in the U.S.
Cupertino is expected to announce this week that, for the first time, it moved more smartphones overseas than at home, according to the Financial Times.
Analysts pointed to the California-based tech giant’s deal with China Mobile—the country’s largest network operator—as the tipping point for Apple. In fact, China reportedly accounted for 36 percent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter; the U.S. made up only 24 percent, UBS estimates said.
Creative Strategies’ Ben Bajarin suggested to the Times that 2 million more iPhones were sold in China than North America in the three months ending in December. Expect more details on Tuesday, when Apple announces its fourth-quarter earnings.
Apple has been making headway in China’s Android-heavy market since early last year, when the company’s market share rose 1 percent. And despite licensing setbacks last fall, Cupertino’s flagship iPhone 6 arrived in Chinese stores in October, following a record number of pre-orders.
CEO Tim Cook has said China “will be Apple’s biggest revenue contributor [in] just a matter of time.”
To help reach that goal, Apple will open 25 more retail stores in the country over the next two years for a total of 40 stores by the end of 2016. Five of those could be open before next month’s Chinese New Year.
Rival Samsung hasn’t fared quite as well, stumbling in China last year, while low-cost competitor Xiaomi earned a place in the spotlight.
Meanwhile, Motorola is returnings to China with three new smartphones—Moto X, Moto X Pro, and Moto G—all three of which will run Google’s Android operating system. The Moto Hint earpiece will also go on sale at a later date, according to the Washington Post.
For more, see What China’s Presence at CES Means for Major Gadget Makers.