What a difference a couple of years makes. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), a tiny player in China as little as two years ago, has suddenly become a new dominant force in both China’s computing and cellphone scene, taking on traditional market leaders Lenovo (HKEx: 992) and Nokia (Helsinki: NOK1V.HE) in their respective spaces. The US maker of wildly popular iPhone cellphones and iPad tablet PCs officially surpassed Lenovo in terms of total China sales in the quarter through June (English article), while it also picked up share on Nokia, whose China sales plunged 41 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to research firm Gartner (English article). At this point, Apple looks nearly unstoppable in China, with companies scrambling to import more iPads to meet ever-growing demand and the country’s leading mobile carrier, China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL) on the cusp of signing a landmark deal to offer iPhones in China that will run on its 3G network. The pirates have been making iPhone and iPad look-alikes for a while now, and even retailers are getting in on the action with a recent headline-making knock-off Apple store opening up in southwestern Yunnan province. (English article) Apple’s sudden surge in China, the world’s biggest cellphone market by subscribers and the second biggest PC market, must be coming as a shock to both Lenovo and Nokia, neither of which has strong offerings in the smartphone or tablet PC space to fend off the attack. If Apple continues to surge, which seems likely, look for Nokia and especially Lenovo to see their China business start to weaken in the next 1-2 years as each looks on powerlessly at China’s new fascination with this innovative US tech giant.
Bottom line: Apple’s sudden surge in China will spell headaches in the next 1-2 years for Lenovo and Nokia, which each lack strong offerings to counter popular iPhones and iPads.
真是三十年河东三十年河西！两年前在中国还势单力薄的苹果公司(AAPL.O: 行情)突然间成了中国电脑和手机行业新的主导力量，向传统的市场领头羊联想(0992.HK: 行情)和诺基亚(NOK1V.HE: 行情)分别发起了挑战。截至六月份的第二季度，苹果在华电脑总销量正式超过联想，同时还夺取了诺基亚的市场份额。据市场研究公司Gartner的数据，诺基亚2011年第一季度在中国的销量骤降41%。目前，苹果在中国的发展势如破竹，各大公司竞相争取进口更多的iPad，以满足中国不断增加的需求。中国移动(0941.HK: 行情)(CHL.N: 行情)接近签署一项具有里程碑意义的协议，在华引进使用其3G网络的iPhone手机。而盗版厂商们则一直在生产与iPhone和iPad酷似的电子产品，就连零售商也加入了“山寨”行列，云南昆明的“高仿真”苹果零售店就是典型案例。苹果在中国的突然崛起无疑令联想和诺基亚深为震惊，而後两者在智能手机和平板电脑领域均无强势产品可以进行反击。如果苹果继续高歌奋进，且这一趋势似乎也很有可能，诺基亚，尤其是联想未来1-2年在中国的业务肯定会缩水，因两者面对中国人对苹果产品的迷恋却无能为力。
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