Samsung widens lead over iPhone in China

Samsung controls 24.3 percent of smartphone market, more than three times that of Apple, reports say, noting that lead almost doubled from third quarter, and Apple's exclusive telco partnership strategy may have backfired.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Apple's initial strategy of partnering a single mobile carrier in China may have backfired, allowing rival Samsung to open up a huge lead in the local smartphone market, reports say.

News wire Bloomberg in its report noted that the iPhone had a 7.5 pecent share of China's smartphone sales, while Samsung had more than three times that at 24.3 percent. It added that this made Samsung the number one smartphone seller in the country, while Apple placed in fifth position.

The latest figures came amid news that Cupertino last week  secured a second partner in China, China Telecom, to sell its mobile phones as part of efforts to close the gap. Apple had previously sold the handset exclusively through China Unicom.

According to Business Insider, the largest telco China Mobile was expected to wait until Apple released an LTE version for the country--expected to be end-2012--before signing up to be its partner. The news site noted that an estimated 15 million "jail-broken" iPhones were already used on China Mobile's network, even without the carrier actually selling the phone.

Bloomberg pointed out that Apple chose not to make a deal with China Mobile because the operator used a unique 3G standard called TD-SCDMA.

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