Apple CEO Tim Cook recently made another return visit to China where he convened with leadership from the largest mobile carrier in the world – China Mobile.
And now we may understand the latest motivation for these accelerating talks with the top mobile players in China.
Understandably, with 33 percent of all worldwide smartphone shipments ending up in China, it’s clear why Apple has a profound interest in China. But unfortunately for the iDevice maker, the iPhone isn’t taking hold inside of the world’s most populous community as fast as the company had hoped.
Falling from 5th place, the iPhone finished in 7th for the second quarter of 2013 inside of the lucrative Chinese market.
In China today, Apple’s market share is just 4.8%. Samsung, Lenovo, Yulong, ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi all captured larger market shares in China.
“The high end of the market continues to grow but there is no doubt that the explosive growth will come from the low end of the market,’ Chris Jones, VP and principal analyst for Canalys, said in a statement. “Apple needs to respond to this dynamic and it is evident from the performance of its older models this quarter that there is real demand for a new low-cost iPhone. The challenge that it faces is maintaining high margins on arguably the most important products in its portfolio.”