Skip to main content

iPad market share in China nosedives as consumers turn to Android tablets

Apple's share of the Chinese tablet market plummeted in the last quarter, with rival Samsung and a number of smaller domestic companies making further gains.

In the second quarter of 2012 Apple made up half of all tablet sales in the country, in Q2 of this year, its share had fallen to 28 per cent, according to data compiled by Dickie Chang, a Hong Kong-based IDC analyst.

The iPad remains the most popular tablet in the country. Although Samsung surged into second place, the firm still only holds an 11 per cent share of the market.

Apple's downward tablet trend does however mirror the fortunes of the iPhone, which has seen its market share almost halved in recent times - consumers are being pulled towards cheaper devices running on Android.

"Apple has lost its luster in China in the past six months and is no longer the must-have product in any category," said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. "Consumers are more price-sensitive. Before, people would skip lunch to buy an iPad."

A large amount of the market share lost by Apple went to Chinese tech firms. These small manufactures, each of which have one per cent of less of the market share, now together account for 50 per cent of sales in the Chinese market, according to the IDC data.

"The tablet market is fragmented with many local/whitebox players," Chang told Bloomberg (opens in new tab). "Many Chinese vendors get a piece as the entry barrier is not high enough."

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.