updated 01:30 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010
New pricing, tech should improve situation
Sales of Chinese iPhones have been "somewhat disappointing," says Morgan Keegan's Travis McCourt. The analyst claims that while the smartphone market has "exploded" in China during 2010, growing 200 percent year-over-year, Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM sold less than 500,000 phones last quarter. BlackBerries, in fact, are still only being sold to government and businesses in the country, according to McCourt. Apple and China Unicom have not officially announced recent iPhone numbers.
The lion's share of growth is said to be coming from phones based on the Android platform. Some 50 percent of the smartphones sold in China last quarter were Android models, particularly significant since the platform didn't register in the country a year ago. Nokia's marketshare is noted to be rapidly deteriorating from the 70 percent it achieved in 2009, although revenue is still increasing.
McCourt nevertheless suggests that iPhone sales should "rapidly improve" in the near future. China Unicom has lowered prices, he comments, and local iPhone technology has caught up with the rest of the world. All models now have Wi-Fi as well as 3G, and the iPhone 4 became available in September. Unicom is reportedly struggling to match iPhone 4 demand.