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Don't worry, Apple: iPad still dominant in China

Cupertino approach suits the People's Republic

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Apple may be struggling to maintain its huge market share in the tablet space globally, but it remains top dog by some margin in China, where the latest stats show it on 71.4 per cent.

Beijing-based analyst house Analysys International’s figures reveal that the tablet market in the People’s Republic is booming, with 2.6 million devices sold during the third quarter, an 11.1 per cent increase from the previous quarter and a whopping 62.5 per cent jump from the same time last year.

The iPad was way out in front on 71.42 per cent, with domestic rival Lenovo in a distant second place with 10.52 per cent, little-known Chinese firm Eben on 3.61 per cent and Samsung just behind on 3.53 per cent, according to Digitimes.

Although the stats show a very small drop of 1 per cent from the previous quarter for the fruity tech titan, Apple’s share is still holding up in one of the largest consumer tech markets in the world.

IDC recently estimated the iPad's market share in China as slightly lower at 66 per cent, with Lenovo on 9 per cent.

However, despite aggressive pricing, channel spending and targeting enterprises, the Chinese PC giant will not do enough to eat into Apple's share, IDC analyst Dickie Chang told The Reg.

"In terms of Apple's position, we think they can keep it. Apple has enriched the product line with the iPad Mini, expanded the official Apple Store, and is approaching the enterprise space as well," he said.

All of which will be some comfort given recent global stats from ABI Research.

The market-watcher reported this week that Apple’s share of the world tablet market fell in Q3 2012 to 55 per cent, the lowest since the fondleslab launched in 2010.

However, with iPad Mini prices pegged high compared to many rival Android devices, it seems Cupertino is still happy to take its fat margins rather than significantly expand tablet market share by appealing to the mid- to lower-end.

This tactic may be working OK in China in the tablet space at the moment, but the latest figures from TRENDforce may cause Apple some concern when it comes to the smartphone market.

In China, the iPhone remains the most-desired next purchase but has seen its popularity drop from 37 per cent to 25 per cent over the past quarter, the stats show.

Some have argued that Apple may be planning to produce a pared-down, cheaper version of its iconic smartphone for this market to get more Chinese users onto its platform and spending money on content and apps. ®

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