updated 01:50 am EDT, Fri May 18, 2012
Android leads, talks underway for new carrier for iPhone
The burgeoning Chinese smartphone market stands to earn companies billions of dollars in coming years. Though this has not been independently confirmed, Microsoft now claims that Windows Phone has edged out the iPhone with a seven percent share compared to Apple's six percent, despite Apple's emphasis on the emerging market.
Apple is reportedly in talks with China Mobile to carry the iPhone on its LTE network in the future. Despite not selling the iPhone yet, up to 15 million iPhone users may be on the network without any official carrier support at 2G speeds. Apple has provided technical assistance to make the network more compatible with these users. Currently, the iPhone is available on China Telecom and China Unicom, with very promising initial order numbers.
Android phones by far have the lead with a 70 percent penetration in the Chinese market, with South Korean manufacturer Samsung holding the manufacturer lead with 20 percent. Unlike Apple, Samsung has been making no focused effort on the Chinese market. The majority of cell phone subscribers are not on smart phones, and are on prepaid plans. Samsung continues to manufacture and sell contract-free feature phones, contributing to its marketshare in China.