iPhone loses ground in China

US tech giant Apple is facing declining popularity of its phones in China.

According to research company TrendForce, the Cupertino company is vastly behind the Korean giant Samsung with the latter improving steadily.

For the second quarter this year, approximately 79.6 per cent of the Chinese respondents named the Korean company when asked of the smartphone brands that “immediately come to mind”.

Meanwhile, Chinese companies Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi are all doing well in China. In the “brand recognition” category, Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Huawei gained fifth, sixth, and seventh places, respectively, whereas the foreign brand Nokia ended up fourth.

In the “most-anticipated smartphone purchase” category, all the three Chinese smartphone brands showed steady growth compared to the same period a year ago. The slight decline spotted in Xiaomi’s percentage share in the “most-used smartphone brand” category is suspected to be caused by the company’s shortage of components as well as decreased shipment levels.

TrendForce believes Xiaomi will not only retain its loyal customers, but also see improvements in the area of brand recognition. TrendForce expects Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing strategy to affect the average smartphone prices in the market, and in turn intensify the competition among mid-end smartphone makers.

HTC and Nokia are noticeably struggling, and will likely see their popularity further threatened by the rise of Chinese branded smartphones, says TrendForce. Although the two rank behind only Apple and Samsung in the “brand recognition” category, neither appears to be as popular as they were a year before.

In the “most-used smartphone brand” category, for instance, Nokia has slid from first place in 2012 to third place this year. HTC, likewise, fell behind Huawei and came fifth. In this year’s “most-anticipated smartphone purchase” category, Nokia and HTC are in fourth and fifth places, respectively.


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