Android Central

We've all seen this picture before right? Well, over in China this is quite literally what is happening in their mobile market. While 1-in-10 people in the worlds most populated country own an iOS device, Android definitely rules the roost. 

A Beijing based analytics firm, has said that Android has risen from 33.6% to a staggering 68.4% market share by the end of 2011. iOS in comparison lagged behind with just 5.7%, behind Symbian who still maintain an 18.7% share. 

So what does this all mean? Well, it obviously means there's a whole heap of Android devices being sold in China. We should also consider the importance of low-cost devices, from manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE and the like that sell well in Asia. Symbian too still inhabits a lot of low end devices.

On a lighter note, the report also suggests that the concept of "mianzi" also factors into the equation. In English this translates to "reputation," with the iPhone in particular being seen as a status symbol. With the iPhone 4S looking the same as its predecessor, there is less reason to upgrade and enhance ones status further. Crazy. 

via Macworld


Reader comments

Android eating up Apple in China with huge market share


Hardly -- China has still a way to go before reaching the west in smartphone adoption. By the way, Android leads iOS almost double even in the US, where Apple is more popular that anywhere else in the world.

Oh, and grow up!

Hey, I'm no fan of Apple... But I was simply thinking that the US TOTAL Population is about a quarter of China's. So Even if a fifth of China's population had Smart phones, looking at Android's market share, it is still pretty impressive numbers. Perhaps I'm wrong. maybe only 1% can afford to have smart phones in China.

Oh, and you grow up. The fact that people get so annoyed by the whole FIRST thing really makes me laugh. Just having a little fun.

I will tell anyone to grow up who gets all riled up over a non-offensive word that insults no one, like "First".I don't even consider that trolling. So, there you go.

Short answer: cost. Because Google has a pretty laissez-faire attitude to hardware requirements, you can make that Android phone that costs $150 on contract. It'll be laggy, have little storage, and not be very fun to use, but it beats spending most of a month's pay on an iPhone 3GS for some users.

True. When incomes in China grow high enough, many of those people who now buy cheap Android phones will start buying the high-end Android phones.

Isn't the 3GS free? Or is that another model? Everyone keeps saying how expensive the iPhone is, all the phones are crap unless you get the $200 models or $300 like when the Galaxy Nexus was first introduced. The latest iPhone starts at $200 and up. Older models are less.

Like right now the only phones that are worth anything are HTC Rezound, maybe the Galaxy Nexus, maybe the One X, and iPhone 4S.

It isn't free, just subsidized in the US, which may differ in China. And the phones you list are only the ones that you know about. I'd throw in a couple of Samsung and Sony models in the mix.

Usually in Asia. You buy the phone outright than buy the service from a multitude of service providers (some state own)...

Grow up? Let the kid have some fun, you be the grown up and learn to simply ignore things that YOU personally don't like...As for the article...awesome, I hope Apple gets a message that THE PEOPLE choose a device that offers freedom of use.

Freedom has nothing to do with why Chinese (or most people) buy Android phones. Nothing. Not at all.

They're buying it because it affords cheap smartphones. The iPhone is still the design Chinese aspire to, they just can't justify the costs. Besides, shouldn't you be *worried* that China's communist government likes Android, because it lets them censor and spy on people more easily?

China = Dictatorship
Apple = Dictatorship
Android = Freedom

I will say though that what Apple has done with 1 phone through creative marketing and slight improvements in hardware from year to year is impresssive. Don't misunderstand me. Steve Jobs is not my hero and I loathe Apple and their products. But, it took a ton of different Android phones to really fight back at Apple's market share.

Admittedly, I'm an Android fanboy probably even more so than some of Apple's fanboys. But I don't know if Android could've been as big of a competitor if it was offered the same way as the iPhone being on just a solo device. It took some hard work to start bringing them down.

Well Android vendors compete fiercely among themselves and yet some still get very close to Apple who naturally owns the iOS market exclusively. Samsung's Galaxy line is as strong as the iPhone, but I think it's high time that HTC and Sony also get some deserved love...

I get what you're saying, and a lot of people make that point... which is all well and good. But let me throw this out there, as I am sure others will, there are scores of OEM's on android and there's only 1 manufacturer of iOS phones. If there were only 1 Android manufacturer, take the nexus line for example, i dare say that it would have sold a lot more than the iphone. It would have received all the support of the manufacturer and because of the openness of Android, persons would have been able to customize their phone easily. Everyone would not have been stuck with a phone whose UI looked identical. To wrap it up though, if there were other OEM's using iOS, Apple's iphone sales would have been less because they would have had to share their OS sales with other Manufacturers. Thank you.

China's government also prefers Android over iOS.

I'd care more about real, political freedom than anything that sits on my phone. Android is not shattering the barriers of oppression and opening minds; it's an OS.

Chinese government prefers Android because it's free, in the sense of free beer. the Chinese government doesn't like free Android in the sense of freedom, for example, the website of cyanogenmod is blocked in China because rooted phones with a custom ROM gives more power to the user and makes it easier to get over the great firewall.
another example, in China, all legally selled Android phones are not preloaded with Google services such as Android market because it is out of the control of the government. most users would go to other local websites to download apps , there are many websites focusing on Android apps such as gfan and appChina, these websites are under the control of the government . if once someone develops some app that helps users easily get over the great firewall, you can't expect to find the app in such websites.

Think I was misinterpreted. My beginning statement was merely trying to compare Apple to dictators like the Chinese govt. I'm not saying there's any correlation between Android and political freedom. It was a knock to Apple and their insistance on un-originality. They would prob be happy if everyone wore the same clothes too.

Yeah, as long as they make the clothes and have a 50% profit on them... And they'd call anyone with different clothes a copycat for wearing clothes...

So they do not buy a new iPhone because it looks like the old iPhone so much that people would not know that they bought the NEW iPhone.

Interesting. Here in the US most people do not know the difference and think ALL touchscreen phones are iPhones.

Living in China, I definitely purchased my Android phone due to the price. While I wanted the iPhone, it was too expensive for me. However, there is a lot of anticipation here for the next iPhone due to rumors that it will be a different design.

Just about every Android or WP phone is a different design... if that's what you're after, why wait on Apple?

This is nothing new. Didnt know it was that large...but folks have been mentioning this for the past few years before Android even passed them in the US.

Thats why all that talk of the iPhone coming to Verizon being the Death of Android was funny. Android existed and exists outside of Verizon. The Droid line might have been the most popular before the EVO came out...but Android is more than the Droid line. Alot more.

And ip4 was gonna kill android. Then ip4s was going too. Now its the ip5. Next will be the 5s, then the six will get apple back into the competition. Then ip6s will destroy android and windows mobile. Than with the Apple iPhone 7 they will regain the top spot. Lol.

Wait... the only "killers" I ever hear about are "iPhone Killers"

And nothing ever became of those either.

I think it's safe to say that Apple... and the horde of Android manufacturers... will be around for a long time.

Naw man...I think it was last year ....I saw an article about an Android Killer coming from Apple. It shocked many of us. I said when folks start mentioning Android killers...Android has finally

And it wasnt an Android centric site. I just searched and one was from an apple related

Just saw another one at Forbes...about Siri being a Google killer.

Yea...Android has finally arrived...

And for many ppl saying the iPhone coming to Verizon was the Death of Android....that wasnt considered being an Android killer? It was just worded differently.

This whole talk about killing in a vibrant market that's rapidly expanding is a bit premature. Even companies that are half dead (like RIM) continue to increase the absolute number of units sold, though at a declining rate. The killing phase will arrive when everyone who wants a smartphone has got one -- in 2-3 years, IMO. Then we'll see who survives when margins shrink and all underlying technology is either cross licensed or public.

It was easily predictable......its Windows all over again. The Android OS just like Windows is being put on almost anything and its just a matter of time before it takes the highest marketshare. Android OS is being put on the cheapest junk to semi descent hardware like the HTC Rezound.

I would imagine the same will happen with the tablets at some point although no one has had any success. I believe the guess is 2016 till Apple looses its lead in the tablets. On the another note Apple had a big head start in the tablet area unlike the phones. There were tablets out, but the OS was a poor implementation and pretty much still is, but ICS is narrowing the gap. With the phones Apple released a bomb on the mobile phone market while RIMM accused them of lying saying they couldn't get the battery life that Apple was saying it had on the iPhone, etc and Google was able to quickly switch from copying RIMM Blackberry and switched and went after iOS and created a fairly good copy just like Microsoft did in the day. Just history repeating itself.

For the record... the Mac NEVER had more market share than the PC.

So the fact that the Mac is still around 28 years later is actually pretty laudable.

If there was some kind of deadline where the Mac had to reach a certain percentage of market share by a certain date... or else they'd have to shut down... then I think Apple would be more worried about market share.

But the Mac is still around today... catering to their Mac-using customers. And Apple's doing quite well for themselves in that regard.

As for phones and tablets... Apple is the only company who makes iPhones and iPads.

"Android" is made up of a ton of different manufacturers... who are all competing with each other.

Speaking of history... there's another piece of history that you're forgetting:

PC manufacturers all started cutting prices and lowering the quality of hardware just to remain competitive against all the other manufacturers who sell basically the same products... and barely remained profitable. Some call it "the race to the bottom"

Think about it... you've got a dozen companies selling basically the same Windows laptop... so they must compete on price. And sometimes they barely make a buck.

Oh it's great for the consumer... the result is very cheap PCs.

But it pumps a lot of garbage computers into the world.

So you're right... history IS repeating itself:

Apple is still a niche company... but is very profitable at it. Apple is the only company who makes Apple products.

Windows and Android have the most market share... but the margins on their respective products are razor-thin... because all those companies are fighting with each other trying to sell the same products.

That is apples downfall. Just like the PC Mac wars they will go down to about 10% world market share. Their os works the best for some, but for most it dosen't. Where I work they won't even consider anything apple. They like windows and android because there is more flexibility. They can do basically whatever they want to it.

It might be more advantageous to have a profitable 10%... than a money-losing 90%

Unit sales and/or market share is only one part of the equation.

For instance: HP and Dell... two of the largest PC manufacturers in the world... were recently questioning whether to even be in the PC business anymore.

It seems that pumping out tons of products with very little profit isn't a great idea after all.

But hey... it gets you those numbers you desire :)

I think we can just say "face" -- it's widely used nowadays in English. Yes, the term is used more broadly in Chinese, but I think most English speakers can understand it.


1) Google search is blocked in China, does it mean none of those Chinese Android phones can use Google's services? Or, is the only thing blocked the Google main search engine?

2) I think I once heard that the Android Market (Google Play Store) is also blocked, is that true?

If both 1 and 2 are true, even if Google sells millions of Android phones there, it's not going to make much money out of it ...

mianzi doesn't mean reputation. it means being wealthy and respectable, wearing luxury clothes, driving BMW(which is very expensive in China) are the best examples of having mianzi. if an 18 year old is admitted to a top ranked university, he and his family is considered having much mianzi too, because he has a bright future. iPhone is the most expensive smartphone, and there are tons of "evidence" floating on the Internet proving it being superior than other smartphones, especially the copycat Android from the evil and hypocritical Google. most if not all the celebrities, entrepreneurs, influential writers and government officials use an iPhone , having an iPhone is a pretty good and easy way to show off, on the most popular microblogging website Sina Weibo, a tweet sent from iPhone is tagged as being sent from iPhone, most other phones, running Android or Symbian are just tagged using the name of the operating system, not the name of the phone. on the most popular instant messaging service tencent QQ, an iPhone user is tagged as "online with an iPhone", other phone users are tagged as "online with a phone", iPhone is not only in its own class, it's pointed out whenever possibly. and this difference means big potential for iPhone and other apple devices in China.