The month of August saw Nokia and Windows Phone outselling Apple’s iPhone in China, as the competitively priced Lumia 520 proved popular, and carriers in the worlds largest market subsidized lower cost devices, according to research by Counterpoint Research.
China saw smartphone sales reach an all time high in August, as 30 million units were sold. 96% of these devices were Android, manufacturerers such as Lenovo, Huawei, Coolpad, Xiaomi, and ZTE saw increased sales. Accordiong to reports the remaining 4% (1.2 million) were split between iOS and Windows Phone. The report states “Nokia (& Windows Phone) surpassed Apple (& iOS) thanks to better movement for lower-priced models such as Lumia 520.” By my calculatiuons, at least 600,001 Windows Phone devices must have been sold in during August, in China alone.
The report does go on to say “we believe this is a temporary setback as Apple will likely regain significant share from competition with the new iPhone 5s & 5c launches starting September 2013”. While this may well be the case, the research concludes that “The real volume growth driver in August 2013 was the sub-US$200 wholesale price band smartphones” and despite Apple releasing a “lower cost” iPhone, there still isn’t one in this “sub $200” catagory, which seemed so successful in China during August.
Recent figures released by Kantar World Panel are somewhat in contrast to this report, KWP had iOS holding 21% of China’s market share in the months from June, July and August. Their research does of course account for a three month period, while this report from CounterPoint looks at just August.