Latest News:  
Beijing   Cloudy/Sunny    27 / 17 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>China Business

Apple courts local developers for larger market share

By Tuo Yannan and Gao Yuan (China Daily)

13:23, June 14, 2012

Apple Inc is embracing Chinese developers in a bid to increase its market share in China.

AutoNavi's navigation application showed up on Apple's latest operating system on Tuesday, replacing the Google map application.

The change follows reports that Apple will replace the Google search engine on its iPhones with Baidu Inc's.

"AutoNavi's Apple map team was established two years ago. The team now has more than 100 employees," Yang Yongqi, vice-president of AutoNavi Holdings Ltd, said on his micro blog.

After Apple's new CEO Tim Cook took over, he made many moves to strengthen Apple's presence in China. He visited the country and met with high-level government officials in March. His predecessor, Steve Jobs, never visited the country.

Recent reports said that Apple will open two more stores in China, leading analysts to believe that the company will place greater emphasis on the world's biggest smartphone market.

Map applications are one of the most popular application categories in the App Store.

"Based on Apple's huge customer base, Apple is very likely to become an important map provider once the next generation iPhone and iPad models arrive on the market," said Yan Xiaojia, an analyst at Analysys International.

Yan added that the market size for Apple map applications is estimated to be more than 100 million customers.

Apple is also developing its own map application, Yan said.

AutoNavi said its free mobile map application had 52 million users and more than 29 million monthly active users at the end of the first quarter, compared with a total of 40 million users and more than 20 million monthly active users in the last fiscal year.

"AutoNavi's mobile phone navigation service was the top mobile phone-based navigation system in China, with nearly 39 percent of the market in the first quarter," said Yin Xinglong, also an analyst at Analysys International.

In China, 284 million people use mobile Internet maps to navigate. AutoNavi map and technology applications lead the market with a 25.9 percent share, while Google's share in the sector was only 16.7 percent in the first quarter, according to Analysys International.

According to recent Chinese media reports, Google services will be replaced by Chinese search engine provider Baidu's on Apple's iPhones, which may further reduce Google's role in China's search engine market.

Baidu accounted for about 35 percent of total searches on mobile devices last year, followed by with 21 percent, and Tencent Holdings Ltd's at 20 percent.

Google only held 11.1 percent, according to Analysys International.

The possible deal between Baidu and Apple "was aimed more at gaining publicity than boosting Baidu's share in the mobile market, because iPhone users are a minority among Chinese mobile phone users", said Li Zhi, a senior analyst with the research company, in an earlier interview with China Daily.

AutoNavi was listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market in July 2010. In May, it reported $26.9 million in gross profit in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 49.6 percent.

Automotive navigation was AutoNavi's most profitable sector. It generated more than $35 million in net revenue in the first quarter.

But the company's mobile and Internet location-based businesses delivered $9.9 million in net revenue over the same period.

"The increases were primarily because of the growth in revenues derived from the pre-installation of the company's navigation solutions on mobile phones," AutoNavi said in its financial report.


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Joint-actual-troop-deducing completed

  2. Gov't subsidize farmers to reduce air pollution for burning straw

  3. Love in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

  4. Seven nutritious foods

Most Popular


  1. Investment banks ready to stand on own two feet
  2. China unlikely to undergo local govt debt crisis
  3. Plan to buy Diaoyu Islands a political farce
  4. Beijing Summit features five new aspects
  5. China’s courier industry primed for an overhaul
  6. Why China, US argue over PM2.5 data
  7. People's Daily Commentaries
  8. Nation needs private capital for resource demand
  9. Int'l board could give local stocks a run for money
  10. SCO is strategic choice for members

What's happening in China

State Council improves food safety

  1. Childless elderly arrange own funeral services
  2. China sees fewer IPR infringement cases
  3. China stocks rally on investor confidence
  4. Flood peak hits C China
  5. Man kept transgender secret for over 75 years

China Features

  1. Beijing Summit features five new aspects
  2. A visit to Qiang Nationality in S.W. China
  3. 2012 West Lake Lotus Expo kicks off in Hangzhou
  4. Innocent photography: Sleeping baby
  5. People's Daily Online seeks English editor

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai