Apple looks set to continue its recent dominance of the Chinese smartphone market after a recently released report showed that 32% of Chinese middle class urban Android owners would be making the switch at some point this year.

The saturated market for smartphones in China still has some room for growth, despite ownership in some middle-class areas reaching 106%. The survey, which was conducted by Asian investment group CSLA, revealed that many Chinese users have become increasingly disillusioned with devices that run on Android, with only 4% of those surveyed switching from iPhone to other mobile devices.

The CSLA survey found that 53% of current iPhone owners had previously switched from Android while 87% of iPhone users would either upgrade or stay with Apple. Over the next 12 months, the report said, 54% of all smartphone buyers would choose an iPhone, increasing Apple’s current installed base from 36%.

Making The Switch To iOS

China has long been an area of interest for Apple and, despite a plethora of other established local vendors, the company has made significant inroads in recent months. A recent report from IDC showed that Apple had overtaken Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi in the first financial quarter of the year, recording 14.7% of the total smartphone market as opposed to 8.7% from the same period in 2014.


By contrast, Samsung saw its share of the market drop from 19.9% to 9.7%, putting it fourth behind Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei in terms of overall share, according to the IDC report. Industry analysts believe that urban Chinese now have a greater awareness of not only brand image but also the benefits of a larger screen—a feature that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has as a major selling point.

Slowing Economy Impacts Smartphone Newbies

Market saturation in China is close to tipping point and the economy is noticeably slowing down. A recent report from Gartner Research forecasted that total unit shipments of smartphones in China would slow and there are concerns over thenumber of first time smartphone buyers.

On the plus side, the CSLA report did note that there was increased interest in the Apple Watch, with 22% of respondents saying that they would probably buy it in the next 12 months. If that is the case, Apple could very easily find itself dominating not one but two Chinese markets.


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