updated 11:20 pm EDT, Sun March 11, 2012
Samsung has 24pc of China sartphones
Gartner on Sunday revealed the extent to which Apple's share of China's smartphones trailed others. Although Apple leads worldwide, it sat at 7.5 percent, or fifth place, in China's sphere. Samsung, in the lead at 24.3 percent, had over three times as much share.
The gap was twice as big as it was during the summer, Gartner said. Some of the distance would have come from Apple's own timing. With the Chinese launch not happening until early 2012, Apple's sales in the country would have been depressed where they were surging in every country where the iPhone 4S had shipped.
Such a wide gap nonetheless illustrated differences in attitudes from Apple and Samsung towards the Chinese market. Although Apple has been enthusiastic about the Chinese market, its reluctance to produce a singular variant to support China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G network has given Samsung, as well as locals like Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE, free rein to thrive on the world's largest cellular carrier. Apple has so far been on second-place China Unicom and just added China Telecom, which at third place won't have as much impact.
Apple has shown interest in closing the carrier gap, but it's waiting on China Mobile to adopt LTE to provide a common platform for 4G. As many as 15 million unofficial users exist on the network, but without native 3G support are likely a far smaller group than they would be with official carrier sales. Samsung's willingness to cater to as many subsets of the market possible and create China Mobile-specific phones may keep it in front for the near future. [via Bloomberg]