Apple’s share of the smartphone market in three critical Asian markets has soared since the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The Cupertino firm is even putting it to Samsung on its own home turf of South Korea.
Apple showed big gains in Japan, China and South Korea, with the most striking increase coming in Samsung’s domestic market, where that company used to have an unassailable position.
In November, Apple saw their market share in South Korea soar from 15% before the debut of the iPhone 6/6 Plus, all the way up to 33% following the debut of the new new handsets. Apple passed South Korean firm LG Electronics (14%) to move into second place behind Samsung, whose share fell from around 60% down to 46%.
The jump in market share is likely due to the larger screens on Apple’s new flagship phones. Many Asian consumers use their smartphones as their primary communications tool, and the so-called “phablets” – and their larger screens – have been a big seller in South Korea.
“No foreign brand has gone beyond the 20% market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry,” said Tom Kang, research director for mobile devices at Counterpoint. “It has always been dominated by the global smartphone leader, Samsung. But iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have made a difference here, denting the competition’s phablet sales.”
Apple also saw marketshare gains in Japan, as their share rose to 51% in November, up from a mid-teens share prior to the debut of the company’s larger screen iPhones. N0. 2 Sony saw a 17% share.
Apple didn’t fare quite as well in China, however their showing there was still a strong one, grabbing a 12% share of the Chinese smartphone market in November, good for third place behind Xiaomi, with 18%, and Lenovo, with 13%. Samsung fell to fourth place with a 9% piece of the market. Counterpoint notes that November iPhone sales in China grew 45% from a year earlier.