The 2015 Chinese New Year period lived up to its frenzied reputation with several local and international companies setting market records. The booming local smartphone industry received a tidy bump during the holiday, but the clear winner was Apple’s iPhone 6.

iOS now has a 27.6% share of the urban market in China, setting a company record. Momentum for Apple products continues to skyrocket, with the iPhone 6 taking the top spot in urban sales from Xiaomi’s RedMI Note. Third place went to the iPhone 6 plus, which sold well in a country with a strong appetite for larger phones and phablets.

“China Mobile subscribers accounted for 59% of the 27.6% volume share recorded by iOS in this latest period”, said Carolina Milanesi, Chief of Research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The iOS market share has dipped slightly over the past year in the US, from 39.2% to 38.8%.

Lenovo re-launched Motorola Mobility with a selection of new smartphones released during the New Year, while Chinese giant Xiaomi launched several products during the holiday spending period, such as a special edition of the Xiaomi Redmi 4G as well as a China Mobile version of the same budget favourite. Huawei also launched the Honour 6 plus just before the festival, featuring a larger body in line with the season’s 6-inch screen trend.

Samsung has also entered the ring with its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge earlier this month. The company chose to separate the release of their highly publicised 6-inch smartphone from the Apple offering by several months.

While urban sales continue to rise, the iPhone is still struggling to crack markets across regional China, with cheaper alternatives from local companies more popular. According to findings by Kantar Worldpanel, the iPhone 6 was also the bestseller in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan over the same period.

Image Source: Lewis Tse Pui Lung /

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.