But deal with China Mobile on iPhone could soon turn things around
Further evidence that Apple is losing ground in the global tablet market has come from China, where latest IDC figures reveal that its share there almost halved in the past year. Apple shipped 1.48 million iPads in China in the second quarter , accounting for 28 per cent of tablets, though this stood in stark contrast to the 49 per cent market share it recorded a year ago. Meanwhile sales of Android-based devices shipped by Samsung rose fourfold to 571,000, almost doubling its share of the Chinese tablet market to 11 per cent.
Part of the problem for the iPad is its cost, with less expensive models from rivals proving ever more popular in China’s intensely competitive market.
In a bid to reverse its fortunes in China, Apple has been in protracted talks with China Mobile – the nation’s largest carrier with around 750 million subscribers but which has yet to offer a subsidised iPhone on its network.
However new chips from Qualcomm that help smartphones access not only China Mobile’s 3G network but also its upcoming 4G service could soon allow Apple to finally launch a China Mobile-compatible iPhone without making design sacrifices.
Such a tie-up could alone add tens of billions to Apple’s value – a factor which has led to a recent surge in the Cupertino manufacturer’s share price, currently hovering around the $502 mark.