Apple is once again China’s top smartphone brand


China iPhone sales
Tim Cook is bullish on China for good reason.
Photo: Apple

Apple continues to get a better foothold in China, despite a slowdown in the country’s smartphone market.

According to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, in the month of December Apple regained its status as China’s most sought-after smartphone brand, with a sales share of 27 percent for urban China.

Of the best-selling handsets in China, all three top-sellers were iPhones models.

During yesterday’s quarterly earnings call, Tim Cook reiterated his bullish view of the China market, which he has often described as being primed to take over from the U.S. as Apple’s biggest international market.

“By 2020 [the Chinese middle class] is projected to be half a billion,” Cook noted, pointing out that this represents a huge opportunity for Apple.

Apple has also continued its aggressive Apple Store expansion in the country, with the aim of opening a total of 40 retail stores there by the end of 2016. China’s 33rd Apple Store is set to open on January 31, at the MixC shopping mall in Qingdao, a city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China.

Last year, China overtook the U.S. as the number one country for volume of iOS app downloads, although it is still third (after the U.S. and Japan) when it comes to revenue generated, due to the preference for free apps versus paid one.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel