LTE telephony is growing fast in China, a land of opportunity for smartphone manufacturers. Competition between Apple and Samsung Electronics is likely to heat up in what is sure to be the world’s largest LTE market soon.
Recently, China Mobile put an ad on its official website that it will launch its first LTE service between November 9 and 11. With the commercial LTE-TDD service of China Mobile around the corner, global smartphone manufacturers are making aggressive efforts for local marketing and business cooperation.
China Mobile kicked off its pilot LTE service in Beijing on November 6. Since that day, it has sold Sony’s Xperia and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 2 handsets. It is expected that the mobile carrier will additionally release the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C, and some other phones manufactured by Samsung, Sony, Huawei and the like in the early stages. It has been found that ZTE’s Grand Memo, Huawei’s Ascend D2, and Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C have already been permitted for sale by the Chinese government.
Samsung Electronics is trying to dominate the Chinese LTE market in advance with its high brand awareness in the local market. China Mobile, on its part, needs to work more closely with Samsung, the number one handset supplier in China, in order to rapidly expand its LTE services, too. According to market research firm Canalys, Samsung Electronics increased its smartphone sales volume by 156% year-on-year in the third quarter of this year, and recorded the highest market share of 21% there. It was followed by Lenovo (13%), Yulong Computer Telecommunication (11%), and Huawei (9%).
Back in August, Samsung Electronics announced that it would release the dual-mode Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini supporting LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD in China. Still, it has yet to be found whether the products have been cleared by the Chinese government.
Apple is getting aggressive, too. It launched the iPhone 5S and 5C in China two months ago, raising its local market share up to 8% and climbing to the fifth spot within a very short period of time. More recently, it is said that China Mobile is shoring up its partnership with Apple for 4G telephony. A foreign news agency has reported that China Mobile has inserted a link to an iPhone ad on its official website.