Apple’s marketshare in South Korea has skyrocketed in the last quarter, driven by strong demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, according to data by Counterpoint. Apple increased its share of sales from 15% to 33%, more than doubling its market power in one quarter.
Historically, Samsung has dominated South Korea, largely due to geographic advantages, but Apple’s gains now threaten the #1 spot. Apple is the first foreign smartphone company ever to surpass 20% marketshare in the region, taking the number 2 spot. Samsung’s marketshare fell from 60% in November to 46% and (now third-place) South Korean LG Electronics fell to 14%.
“No foreign brand has gone beyond the 20% market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry,” said Tom Kang, research director for mobile devices at Counterpoint. “It has always been dominated by the global smartphone leader, Samsung. But iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have made a difference here, denting the competition’s phablet sales.”
If Apple saw similar levels of growth next quarter, it would easily become the most popular smartphone brand in South Korea by sales volume. Whether the ‘iPhone 6 mania’ will continue is yet to be seen, of course.
Apple is also seeing success in Japan, rising from ~20% to >50% marketshare on the back of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launches. Apple also attained third place in China, behind Xiaomi and Lenovo.
Apple will announce quarterly iPhone sales at its earnings call on January 27th, with some analyst estimates expecting a record 60 million shipments.