Emerging markets Stories May 11, 2015

China approaches smartphone saturation point, shipments fall as penetration hits 90% – IDC

China – long viewed as one of the key growth markets for smartphones – is now approaching saturation point, according to data being released today by IDC. The WSJ reports that smartphone shipments fell for the first time in six years, 4.3% down year-on-year in the previous quarter. Other sources say sales are still growing, but at a much-reduced rate.

Experts say the slowdown is largely driven by the disappearance of China’s first-time buyers. Smartphones now have a more than 90% penetration rate in China, said Tom Kang, research director with market-research firm Counterpoint, meaning just about everybody in China who wants a smartphone already has one. “China is now a replacement market,” Mr. Kang said.

While the news may be bad for many smartphone manufacturers, Apple is less likely to be affected as existing owners upgrade from low-end and mid-range handsets to premium ones.

Apple now sells more iPhones in China than in the US, Kantar putting the company’s market share there at 26%. Tim Cook stated in the most recent earnings call that revenue was up 58% year-on-year in emerging markets, Apple also revealing that Chinese App Store sales doubled in 12 months, while online sales in China tripled in the same time.

The company this morning announced a number of new environmental initiatives in the country.

Photo: Darley Shen/Reuters

Emerging markets Stories January 13, 2014

Apple reportedly planning to bring back 8 GB iPhone 4 in India to combat slow sales

The Times of India reports that Apple is planning to re-introduce the 8 GB version of the iPhone 4 in India to combat its sluggish sales. The report states that the company hopes the even lower price of the device will help win back its share of the market, which is slipping away to competitors.

The phone would be available at a lower price than before, reportedly around ₹15,000 (about $240). Apple lost a large portion of its market share in India after phasing out the iPhone 4, which was previously one of the country’s top three phones.

In the US, Virgin Mobile has kept the venerable iPhone 4 8GB around, selling it for a measly $179 Off contract.

Emerging markets Stories August 16, 2013

Apple appears to be preparing for increased focus on the Chinese market, with more than 200 (mostly) senior job openings appearing on LinkedIn, reports the WSJ. Some of these were added in the past three weeks, many within the last few days. Digitimes reported yesterday on Apple also seeking senior engineers in Taiwan.

With the developed market close to saturation point, the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are key to Apple’s future expansion. Worldwide, smartphones represent only just over half of the total cellphone market, generating massive potential for future growth.

Apple’s challenge in China is as much a political one as it is marketing-based …  expand full story

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