The iPhone finally catches on in China as sales surpass numbers in the United States
If Apple’s top goal last year was to dominate the Chinese market, then 2014 was a success. The company is expected to announce sales numbers from last year sometime this week.
The company currently holds 18.1% of the smartphone market in urban China, and 63% of iPhone sales came from China Mobile in the three months leading up to November. Back in December of 2013, tech giant scored a distribution deal with China Mobile when the iPhone maker held 5% of the market.
Apple gets serious about marketing in China.
Last October, Apple CEO Tim Cook paid a visit to the Foxconn factories that make iPhones and iPads. He also announced the company’s plans to open 25 bricks-and-mortar stores in the next few years. Cook added Apple is making a significant investment in China, which boasts a growing market. The iPhone maker even accepted the Chinese government’s stringent demands including a full product inspection.
Apple prompted concerns with Chinese officials over hardware and software that would allow the United States to secretly spy on it’s citizens. Late last summer, the nation banned government employees from purchasing Apple devices over that concern. When a Chinese lawmaker claimed the iPhone presented a nationwide security problem, Cook’s company subsequently denied the claims and even released a statement claiming it did not track user locations.
Prior to that, Apple was reported to have opened its software to the information security department of the Chinese government to appease local government officials and improve relations.
Apple increases retail presence in China
Despite Apple’s significant growth in a key market, the tech giant still has a way to go thanks to competition from local smartphone firm Xiaomi. Apple is, however, growing rapidly and celebrated its twentieth retail store opening last weekend. The new store is in Hangzhou, one of China’s most important cities.