Galaxy S4 threatens iPhone in China
A recent survey shows more smartphone users interested in the new offering.
By Paul Ausick
More than 50% of China's iPhone users are considering the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone when the new phone makes its appearance in China. On top of that, more than 40% of users of other brands of smartphones are also contemplating a switch. Meanwhile, some 60% of current Samsung users are interested in purchasing the new phone.
Samsung (SSNLF) already holds the market share lead in China, with more than 20% of users, according to a new survey from TrendForce. Nokia, with 12.3%, is second, and Apple is third with 9.6% share. Of those surveyed, only 7.1% do not currently own a smartphone.
With smartphones having penetrated the Chinese market so thoroughly, new customers must be poached from other vendors, and that is what Samsung has set about doing. Back when Apple dominated the smartphone market, the company could depend on nearly 70% of current users purchasing a new phone. Samsung's numbers now approach that level in China.
One issue that may dampen sales of the new Galaxy phone in China is its price, which is expected to be in the range of 4,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan (around $800). According to TrendForce, less than a quarter of those surveyed are willing to pay that much, and only 20% are willing to pay more than 5,000 yuan. The Chinese government's recent steps to rein in spending among the country's rich could contribute to lower sales than the TrendForce numbers might indicate.
The Galaxy S4 will not be available until the end of April, and sales data will not be available until sometime after that. It is entirely possible that other surveys we have seen saying that sales will explode on the low-end of the price scale will vault one of China's domestic suppliers, or even Nokia, into a stronger market share position.
One last thing to note: BlackBerry (BBRY) is not even on the charts in China.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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