Wealthy Chinese are said to prefer Huawei smartphones more than iPhones. Photo: iStock

It’s not the rich and famous in China who carry iPhones – quite the opposite, in fact – but mostly low-income-earning single women, according to a report.

A Shanghai-based research firm has described iPhone users in China as being part of an invisible, poverty-stricken sector of the population. China is the second largest market for Apple’s phones.

In its third-quarter report on the Chinese handset market, MobData concluded that iPhone users were mostly single young women with low incomes of no more than 3,000 yuan (US$432) per month.

So what about the high-end successful businessmen? They seem to have migrated to Huawei, China’s leading brand.

The Chinese research house noted Huawei users were mainly an affluent group with an average monthly income of between 5,000 yuan and 20,000 yuan, aged between 25 and 34, and mostly married men.

Another way of looking at it is this group could buy up to two of Huawei’s latest Mate 20 handsets with their monthly salary. By comparison, it would take them two to three months to buy iPhone’s latest models the XS, XS Max or XR.

Huawei has taken a big bite out of Apple’s market in China. The Chinese technology firm overtook Apple to become the second largest smartphone vendor by market share at the end of the second quarter this year behind Samsung.

Huawei consumer division chief Richard Yu Chengdong said the firm will become No.1 by 2020 and he added that he expected Huawei to be close to being on par with Samsung by next year.

However, Apple has been leading all pack when it comes to profitability and sales because they price their phones at the top-end of the market.

In that sense, Huawei is also catching up. Its latest – and arguably better – phone offerings were on par with the low-end level but only 15% below the best and most expensive iPhones.

To suggest iPhone users are invisible and poverty-stricken is probably biased, but politically correct in times of the Sino-American trade war – and that perception should not be linked with the poor share performance of Apple, in which some analysts officially declared it a bear market stock.

Also, if a single young woman is using an iPhone, which cost about her two months of her salary, she is probably not facing a heavy financial burden from her family or maybe even received the phone as a gift. In such a case, she may not be less wealthy than those using a Huawei phone.

In fact, the Mobdata report did point out that Apple was the No.1 brand in China with 21.6% market share, followed by Huawei, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi.

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