Apple has become the top smartphone manufacturer in China, but the market is shrinking, according to data revealed by IDC’s latest Mobile Phone Tracker. For the first time in nine years, the Chinese smartphone market contracted, a sign that what has previously been seen as an emerging market is actually a mature market, similar to markets such as the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia.
Of the 98.8 million smartphones tracked by the IDC in the first three months of 2015, Apple grabbed 14.7%, becoming the most popular smartphone manufacturer, one step ahead of Xiaomi, which accounted for 1% less – 13.7% – of the total smartphones shipped in the aforementioned period.
According to IDC, Apple shipped a total of 14.5 million iPhones, which means a 62.1% growth year-over-year, since the company shipped only 8.9 million units a year ago. Xiaomi, on the other hand, shipped 13.5 million units, followed by Huawei with 11.2 million units, accounting for 11.4% of the market, says the market research firm.
During Apple’s quarterly earnings call, the company CEO took the opportunity to highlight Chinese customers’ “strong appetite” for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but let’s not forget that this period includes the Chinese New Year holiday shopping season. It remains to be seen whether Apple will be able to maintain its position in the second calendar quarter.