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Apple posts best ever iPhone sales in China

Apple’s iPhone 5S smartphone has been a big hit in the Far East with data from IDC showing that the firm’s latest offering has sold a record number of units in China.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s market share in the country rose to seven per cent in Q4 2013 from six per cent in the previous period and that it was driven by the popularity of the iPhone 5S.

It means that Apple is now in fifth place among smartphone manufacturers in the country, slotting in behind Samsung, Lenovo, Coolpad and Huawei.

Interestingly the figures on Apple’s latest drive in the market come before it entered a partnership with China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator, which will almost certainly bring it a much higher profile in China.

China Mobile has 760 million customers in its home territory and previous analyst estimates stated that Apple will sell between 15 million and 24 million additional iPhones as a result of the deal.

The record sales in China follow a similar trend across the globe with the firm’s quarterly results released last month showing that it sold 51 million iPhones in Q4 2013 – an all-time quarterly record for the Cupertino-based firm.

IDC also released figures on the country’s mobile phone market as a whole with the amount of smartphone shipments set to grow by 19.8 per cent in 2014 to 420 million units, but the growth rate itself is set to see a remarkable drop.

“China's smartphone market will remain relatively high growth in 2014, but its growth rate will drop dramatically compared with the 63.6 per cent growth rate in 2013,” says James Yan, Senior Analyst of Client System Research, IDC China.

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Among China’s other smartphone manufacturers, Samsung leads the way with 19 per cent of the market with Lenovo taking 13 per cent, Coolpad 11 per cent and Huawei garnering 10 per cent of the market.