Investors thought that they had seen the worst of Apple
) when the third-generation iPad arrived in China. While the
device drew modest crowds and
plenty of stock
in America, Chinese consumers failed to deliver the same level of
excitement. In fact,
no more than 30 people
waited in line to buy the new iPad when it was released in China
last July. This morning Apple achieved a new record-low for
iDevice attendance. While the iPhone 5 delivered
throughout the United States, it was not nearly as successful
, only one person waited outside of the Apple Store in Shanghai.
found that just two customers showed up at Apple's flagship store
at an upscale shopping district in Beijing.
As embarrassing as this may be for a company that specializes
in creating long lines for its products, the lack of enthusiasm
may not hurt Apple's success. Contrary to the weak number of
early adopters, Apple actually
led the Chinese tablet market
during the last quarter. The Cupertino, California-based tech
giant sold an estimated 1.8 million units, accounting for more
than 70 percent of the market. Samsung -- Apple's strongest rival
in the smartphone space -- sold roughly 91,000 tablets, or 3.5
percent of the market.
Apple does not command a similar lead in the smartphone space.
In fact, the company is expected to lose ground to Nokia (NYSE:
signed a lucrative deal
with China Mobile, the nation's largest mobile carrier. Shares of
Nokia rose nearly 13 percent as a result of the deal. The Espoo,
Finland-based mobile phone manufacturer has climbed more than 40
percent over the last month. During the same period, Apple
declined by more than one percent. The company has lost more than
23 percent of its value since September 14 and is dangerously
close to falling below $500.
Nokia is not the only threat to Apple's throne, however. The
iPhone maker also faces stiff competition from local Chinese
companies, such as Lenovo and Coolpad. According to Reuters,
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
) is expected to strike a deal with China Mobile that would allow
the company to sell BlackBerry 10 handsets to millions of Chinese
consumers. The BlackBerry maker has gained more than 63 percent
over the last 30 days.
While the Chinese market may be a lost cause (for now), Apple
is expected to grow elsewhere when it brings the iPhone to
T-Mobile next year. It is not yet known if Apple will port the
existing iPhone 5 or wait until a proper upgrade is ready for
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.