Notwithstanding all the hype surrounding Apple’s recent launch of the iPhone 4S on China Telecom, it seems that Apple is still way behind Samsung when it comes to the hard numbers. While Samsung has around 24.3% market share in China, Apple accounts for only around 7.5% of the total Chinese smartphone market, according to a Bloomberg report.
Apple’s iPhone was officially available only on China Unicom, and recently became available on China Telecom, China’s second and third largest telecom carriers respectively. However, Apple still doesn’t officially support China Mobile, which is the largest Chinese telecom operator. China Mobile still has around 15 million iPhone users though, who have purchased an unlocked device and use only 2G connections just to use the iPhone.
Samsung, on the other hand, supports all 3 carriers, and can easily reach almost the entire Chinese population. China and other developing markets are expected to contribute to a large portion of Apple’s revenue growth in the coming years. Its market share lead over Apple has doubled from the last quarter.
However, the market share alone doesn’t really show you the entire picture. Apple probably has a much higher profit that Samsung, despite having a third of the market share, thanks to its high profit margins.
Globally, Samsung is the largest smartphone maker, but the tremendous popularity of the iPhone 4S propelled Apple to the number one position in the fourth quarter of 2011.