Apple set for China growth

15 November 2011

BEIJING: Apple, the electronics giant, is set to enhance its position across the PC, laptop and tablet categories in China, according to new figures.

Morgan Stanley, the financial services group, polled 1,553 Chinese consumers in 16 cities, and discovered 66% viewed Apple's personal computers as the "most desirable".

The company thus came in ahead of Asus on 65%, Sony and Lenovo on 63%, HP on 62%, Acer and Dell on 61%, Samsung on 60% and both Haier and Founder on 58%.

Just 1% of the sample already owned an Apple-made desktop PC, and 9% hoped their next such appliance would be manufactured by the US organisation. These totals stood at 9% and 14% respectively for HP, and 13% and 15% for Dell.

Sony logged an increase from 3% to 7% on this measure, but Lenovo, the biggest domestic player in the sector, witnessed a decline from 36% to 29% on the same metric.

Apple's growth in the laptop category may be more rapid still, with 5% of the current audience using Macs, and 22% hoping to buy one when replacing their existing product.

Samsung was among the few other firms to post a meaningful lift here, accruing three percentage points, to 10%, for future purchase intent versus present penetration rates. Lenovo experienced a contraction from 29% to 21%.

Turning to tablets, 65% of people possessing a slate had an iPad, and 68% wished to acquire one next time around, whereas Lenovo was off from 14% to 8%.

A key issue for Apple in China is the fact only 7% of contributors are ready to splash out $1,100 for a new personal computer, with the average price paid today standing at $700.

Although the typical participant expects to boost the amount spent by 6% when the time came to update their device, this leaves Apple's goods beyond the reach of most shoppers.

"Apple's share gains in the near term are likely limited to the 7% of respondents who are willing to pay over $1,100 for a PC," Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst.

"In the long term, as Chinese consumers become more affluent, we believe Apple could see further share gains as it is the most desirable brand."

Overall, half of the panel intend to buy a new PC in the next two years, the study added.

Data sourced from AllThingsD/Apple Insider; additional content by Warc staff