Apple slips, Android big winner in China during Q2

Android was the clear platform of choice, accounting for 81 percent of Chinese smartphone shipments.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read

Google may have had its issues with China over the question of Internet censorship, but there's been no spillover in how the locals treat the company's mobile operating system.

A new report by Canalys finds that during the second quarter, Android was the operating system on 81 percent of smartphone shipments in China -- which accounted for some 27 percent of global smartphone shipments overall. (By comparison, the United States accounted for 16 percent.)

Globally, Android continued to surge and passed 100 million quarterly smartphone shipments for the first time, according to the report. More than 42 million smartphones got shipped in China out of the total 158 million shipped worldwide during the quarter, according to Canalys.

Samsung was the No. 1 smartphone vendor in China during the quarter, with a 17 percent share, followed by ZTE, Lenovo, and Huawei. Apple saw its shipments more than double year over year, but they were still down 37 percent compared with the first quarter of this year, leaving the company in fifth place.

Canalys analyst Chris Jones attributed the sharp drop-off to several factors. One was that Apple competes in a hardscrabble market where it is the most expensive brand. It also grapples with the existence of a flourishing gray market in smartphones where knockoffs are popular items.

He also noted that the change in seasonality for iPhone product debuts affected the numbers.

"It used to be a June launch and then it would roll around the world. That changed last year when it got introduced in October," he said, noting that China was one of last big markets to get the iPhone. "It came there in Q1 and was a big initial volume as people rushed out to buy it. Typically, volumes do drop sequentially in the quarter and there was the fairly typical slowdown after the initial rush."

He added that though Apple has added a number of Chinese carriers, "they're not selling through all at the moment."

Globally, Samsung also ranked as the No. 1 smartphone provider with a 31 percent share of the market, trailed by Apple and Nokia.