CEO Tim Cook said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) needed to do well in China to continue to rapidly expand worldwide iPhone sales, which reached 74.5 million in the most recent quarter. He got his wish. According to the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s market share in urban China hit 27.6% in the quarter that ended in February.
According to researchers at the firm:
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months ending in February 2015 shows that Apple’s iOS sales have reached an all-time high in urban China where it captured 27.6% of the smartphone market.
China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), which rules the wireless broadband market in the world’s largest nation by population, was the primary driver of the success:
“There has been a strong appetite for Apple’s products in urban China seen since the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and this has continued into Chinese New Year. China Mobile’s subscribers accounted for 59% of the 27.6% volume share recorded by iOS in the latest period”, reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Across key global markets Apple’s momentum generally continued from last month, with market share gains in all markets except the US and Japan.”
The advanced owed some of its momentum to older versions of the phone:
“In urban China, Apple iPhone 6 remained the best selling phone in the three months ending in February growing its share to 10.2% compared to 9.5% registered in the three months ending in January”, explained Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “The iPhone 6 Plus was the third best selling smartphone after the iPhone 6 and the Xiaomi RedMI Note. With the two flagships, as well as older models still selling strong, Apple was able to grab the top spot in the smartphone manufacturers ranking. Xiaomi stepped down to number two.”
Some analysts believe the iPhone has a chance to have quarterly sales of 100 million. Success in China could make that come true.