Despite the iPhone's popularity, Android remains king in China

A new report by Baidu reveals that Android phones hold 79 per cent of China's market share

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 August, 2014, 9:13am

New data released by Chinese search engine Baidu reveals that the Android platform is dominant in China, while Apple’s iOS is only used by a small number of mobile owners despite the iPhone’s popularity as a luxury item.

Baidu’s 2014 Mobile Internet Trends report says that Android phones now encompass 79 per cent of China's market share, a rise from 73 per cent in 2013.

In comparison, Apple’s iOS operating system only holds about 12 per cent market share, a drop from 13 per cent last year.

According to the report, Android users spend an average 142 minutes per day using downloaded apps, while iPhone users spend 157 minutes.

The most popular apps in China are those created by Chinese internet giants Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba, the report says. The typical Android user has 3.4 Tencent apps installed on their device, 2.8 Baidu apps and 0.8 Alibaba apps, while an average iOS user has 3.7 Tencent apps, 2.1 Baidu apps and 0.9 Alibaba apps.

Android’s dominance in the mainland is largely thanks to the operating system’s low-cost, high customisation options and prevalence on a wide variety of phones, including those made by Samsung and Xiaomi.

Apple’s iOS, in contrast, is only available on iPhones, which are often pricier than Android phones in China. The iPhone 5, for example, retails in China for 5,288 yuan (HK$6,701), while a Samsung Galaxy S5 can be purchased for around 4,875 yuan (HK$6,150).

A 2013 report carried out by consumer insight group Kantar Worldpanel found that Samsung had the largest share of the mainland’s mobile market, with about half of all “premium” smartphones sold that year made by the Korean company. “Premium” refers to phones priced over 3,000 yuan (HK$3,817).

In April 2014, Samsung's dominance was toppled by Chinese domestic smartphone maker Xiaomi, which became the leading supplier of smartphones on the mainland, according to data from market research firm Canalys.