Reports suggest Apple will finally make some serious headway in the hugely important China smartphone market this year when China Mobile, the nation’s largest carrier, launches Apple’s next iPhone. According to a recent survey, however, Apple may be poised to lose ground to Samsung in China this year, possibly negating some of the gains it will see if and when China Mobile finally begins carrying the next iPhone.
Avanti, the research division of plugged in China-based market research firm TrendForce, recently conducted a survey ahead of the launch of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 smartphone.
The company polled 3,000 people in its study and found that Samsung’s early marketing efforts are paying off, as more than 61% of respondents were aware of the company’s new flagship phone. And among those who said they knew of the Galaxy S4, a staggering 78.6% claimed to be either “highly interested” (39.6%) or “moderately interested” (39%) in the new handset.
Just under 45% of respondents said they were interested in purchasing the Galaxy S4, and the phone’s display resolution and new processor were among the most appealing new features, according to TrendForce. And where Apple is concerned, a troubling trend was suggested as more than half of current iPhone owners polled (52.4%) said they “want to own” the Samsung’s upcoming flagship handset instead of the iPhone following the Galaxy S4’s highly anticipated debut.
Apple’s share of the all-too-important China smartphone market currently sits at just 9.6% according to TrendForce. As such, seeing a new smartphone emerge that is already drawing so much interest away from the iPhone in China may be troubling to investors, who know how important China is for handset vendors. Apple is reportedly also planning to launch a new low-cost iPhone this year, however, which could make a serious dent in China’s handset market and in many other emerging markets.
The iPhone 5S, which is rumored to be the first iPhone China Mobile will offer its subscribers, is expected to launch this summer with an upgraded processor, a new rear camera and possibly several new color options.