Apple is top smartphone maker in China for first time ever

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iPhone 6s
iPhone 6 is #1 in China. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple took the top spot for smartphone sales in China last quarter for the first time in the company’s history, reports financial research firm Canalys.

To accomplish the stunning feat, Apple leapfrogged Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi, thanks to the sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple is also selling more iPhones in China now than it is in the United States, even though the iPhone costs nearly double its nearest competitor. Canalys credits this to Apple tapping into trends like larger screens and LTE.

“While Chinese smart phone vendors are quickly gaining ground internationally, Apple has turned the tables on them in their home market. The company is finally riding the large screen and LTE trends in China, which have been vital to its success, along with a well-timed launch and a clampdown on grey exports of its products out of Hong Kong.

China has become one of Apple’s most important markets as it looks to increase iPhone sales as the smartphone market has saturated in most developed nations. Most smartphone users in China are just making the transition from feature phones to smartphones, so it’s become a hot battle ground between giants like Apple and Samsung and local startups like Xiaomi and Huawei.

Rounding out the top four smartphone makers in Q4 in China were Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. Apple will announce its Q1 2015 earnings today at 2PM PT. Analysts expect it will be Apple’s biggest quarter ever, and you can catch all the action on the Cult of Mac Liveblog

Source: Canalys