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iPhone's piece of the Chinese smartphone pie expected to double in 2014


According to a new report from IDC, Apple's share of the Chinese smartphone market is expected to double in 2014.

That Apple considers China an important part of its overall plan to significantly increase its revenue base is hardly a secret. With rumors that Apple may soon be finalizing an iPhone deal with China Mobile -- the world's largest carrier -- it makes sense that Apple could easily increase its market share in the country in a relatively short period of time.

Of course, it's easy to increase market share when you're starting from the bottom and have nowhere to go but up. As it stands now, the iPhone isn't even one of the top five most popular smartphones in China. That list is spearheaded by Samsung, which has an 18.3 percent share of the smartphone market, followed by Lenovo which owns a 12.6 percent share of the market.

"The sharp increase in shipments of low-end China Mobile smartphones has driven the growth of Lenovo and Coolpad. On a separate note, affected by the sluggish sales of iPhone 5, Apple's market share has declined dramatically, but its performance is expected to remarkably improve with the launch of the new iPhone," says James Yan, Senior Analyst for China Mobile Phone Market, IDC China.

IDC notes that smartphone shipments in the country will hit 360 million units in 2013 and may soon rise to 450 million by 2014. With that rise in shipments, IDC anticipates that Apple's new iPhone models, coupled with a potential deal with China Mobile, will boost the iPhone's popularity.

Thanks to its cooperation with China Mobile and the launch of low-cost iPhone, iOS will see a rapid growth in 2014, and IDC expects its market share to double that of 2013.

So when might we see the iPhone land on China Mobile? Well, we reported not too long ago that Apple had received the requisite regulatory license to carry the iPhone on China Mobile's network. The rumor mill has been suggesting the iPhone will land on China Mobile sometime before the end of 2013, but as with any Apple-related rumor, nothing is ever a guarantee until an official announcement is made.

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