Westlake Apple Store, Hangzhou, China

Following reports that Apple is now selling more iPhones in China than in the US, today Canalys is out with research showing Apple for the first time lead smartphone sales in China by units shipped during the last quarter of 2014.

The incredible popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China in Q4 2014 has led Apple to take first place in the Chinese smart phone market for the first time by units shipped. This is an amazing result, given that the average selling price of Apple’s handsets is nearly double those of its nearest competitors… While Chinese smart phone vendors are quickly gaining ground internationally, Apple has turned the tables on them in their home market. The company is finally riding the large screen and LTE trends in China, which have been vital to its success, along with a well-timed launch and a clampdown on grey exports of its products out of Hong Kong.

Apple was followed by Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei rounding out the top four spots, according to Canalys. The news comes just as analysts predict China accounted for as much as 36 percent of Apple’s iPhone shipments last quarter. The U.S. made up 24 percent. That’s compared with around 22 percent for China in the year ago quarter, which is all to say Apple’s has experienced significant growth in China since the launch of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 

Earlier this week we reported that Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts is recruiting U.S. employees for the company’s retail stores in China as Apple plans to open more than 15 new locations in the region.

Apple will report its fiscal Q1 2015 earnings results for the three months ending in December of last year later today and we expect Tim Cook and other execs will take time to talk growth in China.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.