A report from Chinese business data pollsters Analysys
combined with shipment reports compiled by DigiTimes
indicates that in the fledgling Chinese tablet market, Apple is the surprise winner
- dominating sales by a long way over rival Samsung, the only other vendor to achieve double-digit sales. According to the figures, Apple has 51.7 percent of the market, followed by Samsung at 13 percent, with Lenovo at 9.1 percent.
Analysys reports that for the third quarter of 2013, about 4.353 million tablets were sold in China - a small number compared to a market like the US, but growing rapidly. The figure represents a 67.2 percent increase over last year, and 21.7 percent more than the previous quarter. More importantly, the figures represent the state of play in the Chinese tablet wars in the quarter before
Apple refreshed the line in October.
The iPad Air only went on sale in the country on November 1, and the just-released Retina iPad mini will be arriving at retail shortly (both models will be Wi-Fi only). Apple has not yet released tablets that can handle China's 3G/LTE frequencies, likely waiting for the finalization of a long-awaited deal with China Mobile
in order to release cellular-compatible versions of the tablets.
The new releases, along with a continuing lack of serious competition in the tablet space from most rivals, should mean that Apple will continue to grow its share of the Chinese tablet market between now and the beginning of 2014. A deal with China Mobile and the other large telecom carriers that included 3G/LTE-compatible versions of the two iPad models would only further benefit Apple in that segment.