Apple’s iPhone Scores Big in Asian Markets

iPhone 6

Image courtesy of Apple, Inc

Apple’s iPhone Scores Big in Asian Markets
| published January 21, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff


Apple has reached a milestone in the business of selling products in Asia. The U.S.-based technology giant—maker of smart phones and computers, among other things—has now penetrated the coveted 20% market share in Korea and 51% in Japan. The gains are due almost entirely to Apple’s smartphone products.

No non-Korean brand has ever climbed to more than a 20% sales penetration in South Korea, at least according to various measures of such data (and those tech and business firms which report that data). Apple managed to reach roughly a 33% share in South Korea in November, its best month yet. Apple’s dazzling 51% share in Japan is also nearly unprecedented, and another indication that the California-based Apple is steadily chipping away at the dominance of the popular Asian brands of smartphones, such as industry behemoths Samsung, LG, Lenovo, and Xiaomi.

All told, Apple saw a 30% gain in overall sales over last year. Apple’s share in China grew to about 12%, according to a recent report in Fortune magazine.

Samsung is based in South Korea; Xiaomi is based in Beijing, China. Xiaomi is the world’s third largest seller of smartphones, though its biggest markets are in various parts of Asia, and especially the rapidly-expanding markets of Southern China and Southeast Asia. The two biggest sellers in the United States are Apple and Samsung, with other phone makers struggling for third place.

This is all good news for Apple, which risked much when it decided to enter into direct combat with Samsung for space in the big screen phone turf. Samsung has been struggling lately to keep up with Apple’s recent gains. Apple and Samsung are engaged in a head-to-head, month-to-month battle for dominance in the rapidly-growing smartphone markets.

After many delays, scores of rumors and much fanfare, Apple finally released its iPhone 6 Plus in September of 2014. It was a gamble, but the new sales numbers seem to indicate that the wager paid off for Apple.

The release of the newest iPhone was marred by minor but annoying problems, including some application issues and power-up problems—which were eventually solved to the satisfaction of most customers—and an ongoing brouhaha over what became known as “Bendgate,” wherein the newer, thinner, lighter phones could be apparently easily bent if left in the back pocket of heavy clothing like jeans. Some customers were reporting bent or damaged phones, though in the end Apple simply recommended that phones not be left in back pockets when users sit down—reasonable enough advice, or so it seemed at the time.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Apple: Bent But Not Broken; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; September 25, 2014.

Sony Sales Slump; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; September 18, 2014.