Apple’s iOS continued to gain share in urban China over the three months ending January, although the growth rate was the slowest since late 2014, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Sales data from the firm showed that Apple remained the most popular brand in China, taking a 25 per cent share of smartphone sales.
“Looking at the three months individually, January was the weakest month for Apple in China as more price-sensitive consumers might have been waiting to see what promotions Chinese New Year would bring,” said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “In the rest of the world, smartphone platform dynamics remained pretty stable period-over-period, with no surprises.”
The iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and 6 were the best-selling smartphones in the region, the firm noted.
Huawei continued its momentum and is closing the gap with its nearest competitor, Apple, capturing 24.3 per cent of sales. Xiaomi, which announced its Mi5 at Mobile World Congress last month, maintained a distant third, as it dropped 10.2 percentage points over the same period in 2015, Kantar Worldpanel reported.
Analysts have noted that iPhone growth is peaking, like the overall global smartphone market, and Apple will need to expand into new markets if it wants to return to the spectacular growth of the past couple of years.
According to figures from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone growth fell to 6 per cent in Q4 — “the industry’s slowest of all time”.
In other Asian markets, Kantar Worldpanel said iOS had a 42 per cent market share in Australia and a 50.3 per cent share in Japan for the three-month period ending 31 January.