Strong Start for iPhone 5S in China – Deal With China Mobile to Trigger Price War

Strong Start for iPhone 5S in China – Deal With China Mobile to Trigger Price WarApple’s iPhone 5S is off to an exceptionally strong start in China, accounting for a full 12% of all iPhones sold across the country during October. Even more impressively the figures released by Counterpoint are in no way influenced by the huge deal Apple recently struck with China Mobile.

Preorders are set to open today for Chinese consumers looking to sign up with the nation’s biggest carrier, ahead of next week’s expected 4G announcement.

According to the Counterpart report, the success of the iPhone 5S in China helped the device to become the world’s best-selling Smartphone for the month of October. Additional data from Mixpanel also states that the iPhone 5S now has a total iPhone market share of 10%, while iOS 7 continues to be adopted at a massively faster rate than iOS 6 last year.

“It definitely was more successful compared to what the iPhone 5 registered in terms of overall sales in a month,” said Counterpoint’s Tom Kang, acknowledging that initial hysteria surrounding the iPhone 5S hadn’t been nearly on the scale of the of iPhone 4S – released in China December last year.

“Apple’s smartphone marketshare climbed to the 12% mark in China in October, instantly making it the third largest smartphone player in the market – up from a modest 3% share in September,” added Neil Shah, speaking from the same market research firm.

The huge spike in iPhone sales across China suggests that consumers had been holding off on their purchases until the newest and most prestigious device to date hit the shelves. The iPhone – at least the current-generation version – is still considered a symbol of status across China to a much greater extent than here in the US.

As for the China Mobile deal, the carrier currently has a customer base of over 750 million active subscribers and could result in astonishing sales for Apple. In addition, the wider availability of the iPhone is expected to lead to greater competition and lower prices – particularly for past-generation models.

“Having Apple’s iPhone 5s at all three carriers will for sure ignite a ‘price war’ boosting the overall iPhone 5s sales in China,” said Kang.

“This might allow Apple to even reach the No. 1 smartphone player in December or January in China.”

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