Despite the iPhone 5′s seemingly chilly reception at its December 14 launch — it was a non-event at the Beijing Apple Store, where fights occurred at the last product unveiling — sales have nonetheless been brisk. Over 2 million units were sold in three days, according to Apple’s press release.
“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products.”
And yet, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt probably isn’t taking back his words from a Bloomberg interview last week:
“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple,” he said. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”
That reason: China. It sure helps, anyway. In second- and third-tier cities here, Apple devices are overwhelmingly outnumbered by smartphones running android. Reports Android Central:
We saw the 33-percent of all Android devices sold in 2012 we in China, but — and this is a big but — only 59-percent of those were using an “authentic” build of Android and use Google’s services. That means that a full 41-percent of the zillions of Android phones sold in China aren’t getting counted in activation numbers or that monthly OS chart we see from Google. They are phones running customized version, from the likes of Baidu or Alibaba. Let’s get out our wizard hats and do a little math.
- There are approximately 1.5 million Android devices activated every single day.
- A full third of that would be 500,000 phones and tablets.
- 59-percent of that total would be 295,000.
We’re guessing Apple isn’t crying over lost profit. It has a very successful line of other products, notably the tablet, and, well, it is the most valuable company in the world by some metrics.
Still — Android has reason to be feeling pretty good.