Many Chinese users are turning to domestic smartphone brandsChina used to have more iPhone users than any other smartphone brand. Those days are gone, however, when Huawei took the throne with the continent’s largest smartphone user base. Many Chinese users are turning to domestic smartphone brands. China used to have more iPhone users than any other smartphone brand. Those days are gone, however, when Huawei took the throne with the continent’s largest smartphone user base.
The South China Morning Post cites new data from research company QuestMobile, which shows that iPhone retention rates are usually lower in China than in other countries. In June 2020, in particular, the active iOS system market share decreased by about two percentage points compared to the previous year. More than 26% of all smartphone owners in China have become Huawei users, while the number of Apple users is more than 21%.
China has long been home to a large number of iPhone users, according to a study by the UBS Evidence Lab, but customers here are less loyal to brands than consumers elsewhere. Apple’s biggest competitor in this huge market is local smartphone manufacturers because they can better customize products with local tastes. While Apple “blocks” consumers in the western market with its deep ecosystem, services like iTunes Movies and Apple Arcade are not available in China. The need to support iOS is also less important for users on the mainland because most people make text and video calls on WeChat than they do through iMessage.
Another reason Apple lags behind is that iPhone users in China also appear to be less loyal than users of other local brands like Huawei. According to QuestMobile data, more than half of the customers who have upgraded Huawei phones decide to stay with the brand, while the number of iPhone users who choose to stay with Apple is less, at about 45%.
Apple has tried to retain longtime customers by lowering the price and releasing the iPhone SE at a friendly price in April2020. The iPhone line was well received in China at the time of its launch in part thanks to discounts and promotions from online retailers. However, a segment of domestic users believe that Apple’s new phones lack many of the features offered by Chinese smartphone brands with cheaper prices.
But despite the challenges, Apple still has an edge in wealthy parts of China. More than half of Apple’s users live in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai.