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Apple’s iPhones had a happy Chinese New Year

Apple plans more stores in ChinaApple plans more stores in China
Queueing up for the iPhone 6 in China. Photograph by Imaginechina/AP

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 6.23.07 AMApple seems to have blown past a long line of Asian competitors in the three months leading to Chinese New Year, Asia’s biggest shopping day of the year.

A report this week from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech supports what observers on the ground have been saying for weeks: Demand for Apple’s smartphones in the world’s largest mobile phone market has never been higher.

By the numbers:

  • 27.6% Share by sales volume for iOS in China from December to February, a record.
  • 59% Share of those sales accounted for by China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone carrier.
  • 10.2% Share of Chinese sales captured by the iPhone 6.


“In urban China, Apple iPhone 6 remained the best selling phone,” says Kantar’s Tamsin Timpson. “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.”

Running around the bases, Kantar in February found iPhone market shares up year over year in seven of nine countries — the U.K. (to 38.6%), Australia (38.5%), China (27.6%), France (21.6%), Italy (17.5%), Germany (17.4%) and Spain (8.7%). The two countries where shares were down — Japan (to 49.8%) and the U.S. (38.8%) — were the two where iOS had the most to spare.

Below: Kantar’s February 2015 data sheet.

Kantar data sheet

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.