Chinese consumers leaning towards Samsung and local brands as Apple loses its charm

Apple has had something of a cult following and has been considered a status symbol in China, where new iPhone releases have seen huge crowds of interested buyers swarming outside Apple stores, in one case even wreaking havoc that caused the company to cancel the launch of the iPhone 4S. However, in the latest research, it has been found that Samsung has all but caught up with Apple in the “brand recognition” category – when asked which smartphone brand comes to mind immediately, 80.6 percent of Chinese consumers thought of Apple while 79.6 percent answered Samsung.

Meanwhile, in the categories of “most anticipated smartphone purchase” and “most used smartphone brand,” Samsung’s percentage share has risen consistently since mid to late 2012, while Apple’s has been on a downward spiral. Samsung also stole many consumers from HTC and Nokia, both of whom are in the top five list in the brand recognition category but have been struggling to keep customers loyal to their products (33.8 percent of HTC owners in the country said that they would like to swap to a Samsung branded model eventually).

However, while Samsung might be ruling the roost with high sales, its revenues have not been able to keep up at a similar pace, and with local Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi catching up in popularity thanks to low-cost yet high-end hardware, Samsung shouldn’t get too comfortable just yet, lest their reign in one of the most important smartphone markets come to a halt in the near future.


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