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iPhone 5 hits China, as Apple market share slips

Published on Dec 14, 2012 1:25 PM
 
An employee cleans an advertisement plate at an Apple dealership on the eve of iPhone 5's release, in Wuhan, Hubei province December 13, 2012. The China release of its iPhone 5 on Friday should win Apple Inc some respite from a recent slide in its share of what is likely already the world's biggest smartphone market, but its longer-term hopes may depend on new technology being tested by China's top telecoms carrier.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - The China release of its iPhone 5 today should win Apple some respite from a recent slide in its share of what is likely already the world's biggest smartphone market, but its longer-term hopes may depend on new technology being tested by China's top telcos.

Apple has been in talks about a tie-up with China Mobile for four years. A deal with China's biggest carrier is seen as crucial to improve Apple's distribution in a market of 290 million users - which is forecast to double this year.

China is Apple's second-largest and fastest-growing market - it brings in around 15 per cent of total revenue - but the company's failure to strike a deal with China Mobile means it is missing out on a large number of phone users. As the China pie grows, Apple's sales increase, but without China Mobile, it's losing ground at a faster rate compared to other brands.

"In absolute terms, this (iPhone 5) launch will certainly result in strong sales for Apple in China. However, in relative terms, I don't believe it will move the needle enough in market share," said Shiv Putcha, a Mumbai-based analyst at Ovum, a global technology consultant.

 
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