It’s been a great year for Apple in China, and to top it off the China Brand Research Center just released its China Brand Power Index for the year — placing Apple in the no 1 position over long-time rival Samsung.
While Samsung Electronics took home brand value prizes in both the TV and monitor categories, Apple roundly beat it in the all-important mobile category, which Samsung has occupied for the previous two years.
Apple has reportedly sold more than 39 million iPhones in China between July and September this year, playing a significant role in turning the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus into Apple’s most successful handset to date. Market experts are estimating that sales will hit 70 million between October and December, which represents a 40% increase on the previous quarterly record.
Other China-related Apple highlights from 2014 have included finally brokering a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network, which opened up the iPhone to a potential 753 million new customers. Apple has additionally announced that the country will get 25 new Apple Stores by 2016, increasing the company’s retail presence in China from 15 to 40 stores.
Tim Cook has been outspoken about his belief that China will represent Apple’s biggest market worldwide in the near future.
Not everything has been quite so positive, however. In addition to regulatory problems causing a delay in the iPhone 6’s arrival, the Chinese media has accused Apple of using both iCloud and the “Find My iPhone” function to spy on its citizens. Apple was also forced to move iCloud in the country over to state-run servers in order to operate in the country.
More recently, Tim Cook met with Chinese officials regarding a reported “man-in-the-middle” attack on iCloud users in the country, supposedly carried out by authorities.
While the relationship between Apple and China has seen its share of speed bumps, however, news like today’s China Brand Power Index demonstrates just how quickly Cupertino is establishing itself in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and largest markets.
Earlier this month, Apple retained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, according to the latest Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report. The report valued Apple’s brand at a whopping $118.9 billion, compared to the $100 billion it was valued at in 2013.