China just proved why it is so important to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) ’s success. According to Appleinsider.com, China just surpassed the US when it comes to smartphone subscribers, making it the largest smartphone market in the world.
Research firm, Canalys, just announced that since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) released the iPhone 4S in China in January, the country has passed the US in smartphone market. China now counts for 22% of all smartphone shipments, while the US sits at 16%.
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Interestingly enough, last year, the US accounted for 22% of the global smartphone market while China was at 16%. Chinese shipments are up 45% year over year while the US is up only 5% year over year.
When you look closer to the Chinese smartphones sold however, Samsung took 22% of the market share while Apple took a 19% share. However, Apple is not only seeing success in iPhone sales in China, Mac sales were up 60% year over year in the last quarter.
As you can see China is a huge source of growth for the tech giant. Currently there is a dispute over who owns the name “iPad” in China but sources indicate that this legal fight should be resolved soon. Once that is solved, Apple will be able to grow margins even further with the popular iPad. Apple is definitely gaining popularity in the region though.
We can even speculate with the widely anticipated “mystery product” due out later this year could be another huge source of growth for Apple not only in the US but in China also. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited China and talked with government officials about free trade agreements and other topics regarding selling Apple products in the nation.
Originally, the region had a somewhat critical view of the company as they heard about working conditions and other hardships coming out of Apple’s big supplier, Foxconn. However, most of the critical feelings have been lessened with Mr. Cook’s fight to help getting better working conditions and higher wages at the plant.
The bottom line here is that China is beginning to take over the US title of a large consumer base. Apple has seen the huge potential that China could present. I believe the iPhone is only the beginning for Apple’s role in China. The iPad will be a huge success once the legal issues are resolved and the Macs are already selling like hotcakes. Apple has a bright future in China.