The Apple iPhone is being beat with a wide margin by Samsung smartphones, a new report suggests.
According to research firm Gartner via a report from Bloomberg, smartphones made by South Korea-based consumer electronics giant Samsung are dominating the Chinese smartphone market, leaving the iPhone with a small share.
Gartner said that Samsung has 24.3 percent market share in the smartphone market in China while the Apple iPhone held only 7.5 percent.
This makes Samsung’s share more than three times larger than that of Apple with the iPhone.
Furthermore, Bloomberg says that it is expected that Samsung will continue to widen its lead over Apple in China owing to its great relationship with the mobile carriers in the country.
Samsung is said to have began rolling out smartphones in the country since 2009 when the mobile carriers in China also started deploying their 3G networks.
Samsung enlists the help of the three biggest telecommunications companies in China: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
China currently has about 988 million subscribers, Bloomberg says, and 655 million of those are on China Mobile while 129 million are on China Telecom.
Apple, on the other hand, Apple is selling the iPhone in China through China Unicom and China Telecom, far second and third in China in terms of subscriber base numbers.
China Mobile presents big opportunity for Apple if and when it releases the iPhone on the Chinese telecommunications company.
With a subscriber base of 655 million, it represents an massive untapped market for Apple which Samsung is currently dominating.
However, the problem with China Mobile is its 3G network utilizes a proprietary 3G standard called TD-SCDMA which will take effort from Apple to incorporate into a version of the iPhone specifically designed for it.
As such, China Mobile is said to have hinted that the iPhone may come to its subscribers only when it rolls out its TD-LTE network.
This is reportedly happening this coming year’s end, Bloomberg says.
Nonetheless, even if China Mobile does not officially offer the iPhone to its subscribers, it does not stop them from buying the popular smartphone and using them on the carrier’s network.
According to a spokesperson from China Mobile, the carrier currently has 15 million iPhone users on its network.
However, since their iPhones are not compatible with TD-SCDMA, they are only using the 2G network of the carrier.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg says in its report that it is expected that Samsung will further widen its lead over Apple and the iPhone in the Chinese smartphone market in the meantime.