The general consensus is that Apple doesn’t expect its iPhone 5C to be a major game-changer and is only releasing the device to prevent its market share from eroding any further in emerging markets. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, however, has a much more bullish take: She thinks the iPhone 5C looks poised to completely upend the smartphone market in China.
Per Fortune, Huberty has written a research note this week projecting that Apple could actually take the lead from Samsung in total market share in China if the company gets mammoth carrier China Mobile to start selling the iPhone 5C this year. Citing a proprietary survey of Chinese consumers, Huberty thinks that Apple will add more than 13 percentage points to its market share by releasing the iPhone 5C in China and another 6 percentage points by striking a deal with China Mobile.
This would be enough to put Apple over the top in China and make it the country’s No. 1 smartphone vendor although it certainly remains to be seen how well the lower-cost iPhone will do when paired against not just Samsung devices but ultra-cheap Android devices such as the Xiaomi Hongmi.