The availability of a subsidized iPhone on China Mobile’s network will be a huge opportunity for Apple to gain a strong foothold in the Chinese market.
This share makes Apple the 5th largest smartphone seller in the country, while Samsung is No.
While some may think the move is drastic, T Mobile users in the US who have to jailbreak their phones to avoid switching carriers can surely relate.
Apple launched sales through China Telecom last week, which should help boost its share.
But China Telecom, though huge by western standards, is the smallest of the three carriers.
But now that Qualcomm’s Gobi chipsets can not only support the TD LTE network that China Mobile is testing but also the TD SCDMA 3G network that it already has, Apple can finally have a true “world phone”.
The fact that China Mobile has still managed to add about 15 million iPhone customers is testimony to the huge untapped potential.
The reason market share is important is that smartphones have become a platform market, in which developers build applications that run on top of various operating systems.
As with Microsoft’s Windows, if one platform achieves a dominant share, developers tend to gravitate to it, at the expense of other platforms.
So one risk to Apple in China (and worldwide) is that Android might become the dominant mobile development platform.
Android is mopping up Apple and RIM’s declining mobile mindshare in the US, you’ll find nothing but corroboration from Quantcast.
Propelled by the release of the iPhone 4S last October, Apple enjoyed the largest share of mobile phone shipments in Japan in the fourth quarter of 2011, a first for the company.
It seems China Mobile users are jailbreaking their phones to run the operators service on the device.
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Saroo Buffett is a business journalist based in Mumbai, India. Saroo has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Saroo spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.