Apple is taking on China with its iOS devices, according to an analyst one in ten urban Chinese already owns an iOS device, but the company is still trailing behind Google Android in this lucrative market.

Beijing-based Analysys International figures show that Android market share grew from 33.6 per cent to 68.4 per cent of smartphone share in China by the end of last year. iOS ended 2011 with 5.7 per cent marketshare, behind Symbian on 18.7 per cent, but ahead of Windows Mobile on 1.2 per cent and BlackBerry on 0.1 per cent. (More below)

The reason for Android’s popularity is likely the lower cost of Android handsets compared to iPhones. Investing site, The Motley Fool.com, explains that Google can take advantage of low cost handsets from the likes of Samsung, HTC and Huawei.

“While Apple offers a higher-quality device, it comes with a heftier price tag that hinders Cupertino’s ability to address the medium- and low-end markets,” says Fool.  

 

Another thing holding back the iPhone, suggests the report, is the concept of “mianzi” which translates as “face” or “reputation”. It is suggested that the iPhone is seen as a status symbol and adds to one’s mianzi. However, the iPhone 4S looks the same as the iPhone 4 so there is less incentive to make the upgrade.