If there was any country that could be called ‘iPhone Crazy’, it was China. There used to be everyday reports about people selling kidneys, their house and even things which otherwise aren’t sold, just to be able to buy the phone. The more skilled would go to the extent of building a replica and the ones who could afford, would try and woo their lady love with a life size heart made of iPhones. But that was then and it is not how it is now.
Retaining the crown of being the top selling smartphone in China since 2012, the previous generation iPhone 6s lost the fight to a local hero. It was the Oppo R9, which was lapped up by 17 million users in China, as opposed to 12 million people, who opted for the Apple iPhone 6s. In China, Oppo witnessed a 109 percent year-on-year growth while Apple’s sales showed a 21 percent slide. The other smartphone makers to see growth in sales were Vivo and Huawei. Vivo grew 78 percent while Huawei saw a growth of 21 percent. Another local brand Xiaomi, also registered a 22 percent year-on-year decline in its shipments.
With their flagship R9, Oppo has captured nearly 4 percent of China’s overall smartphone market share, where Apple now only holds 2 percent. With a strong presence in the offline market, Oppo has went on to become the fastest-growing smartphone brands in China. Will the iPhone 7 change that, or will it take a new strategy, design and some fresh appeal for Apple to make the Chinese go weak in their knees again? Only time will tell.