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iPhone marketshare in China predicted to double in 2014

A new report issued Wednesday by research agency IDC predicts that Apple's share of the Chinese smartphone market will double in 2014 thanks to the introduction of the lower-cost iPhone 5c and an anticipated new carrier agreement with China Mobile, the world's largest wireless provider.

IDC's analysis anticipates that Apple's introduction of the lower-cost iPhone 5c combined with the consummation of the company's long-rumored deal with China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier, will help Apple capture a significantly larger share of the 450 million smartphones IDC expects to be sold in China in 2014.

Apple's marketshare has "declined dramatically" in the last year thanks to slow sales of the iPhone 5, but is "expected to remarkably improve with the launch of the new iPhone,” according to IDC China's James Yan.

These predictions come despite indications that the iPhone 5c, which is rumored to launch first on China Mobile's 3G network as the carrier and its 740 million customers await issuance of 4G operating licenses, is being outsold by its Touch ID-enabled sibling by a large margin. The data suggests that the iPhone 5s was more than three times as popular as the iPhone 5c during their record-breaking opening weekend.

The report paints a bleak picture for the future of Google's rival Android operating system, predicting that the now-dominant OS will begin to decline in 2013 and slowly be overtaken by iOS and smaller, "more open" competitors.

"It is difficult to displace Android’s dominant position in the Chinese market within a short period of time," says Yan, "but IDC predicts that its share in China’s mobile phone operating system market will reach the peak in 2013, and that the mobile phone vendors and telecom operators will adopt new operating systems with a more open attitude."