Fun Fact: Currently, iPhones constitute a 31% market share in North Korea; position improved after iPhone 12 launch

Only traders and wealthy North Koreans are allowed to buy the iPhone

iPhone 12 lineup

If you’ve ever wondered what smartphones people use in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea AKA North Korea, we’ve got the answer. While the top spot is enjoyed by Huawei, surprisingly, iPhones come in second while considering the smartphone market share in the country, according to metrics by Statcounter.

As per the metrics, Apple’s iPhones have a market share of 31.15% in North Korea. By comparison, Huawei has a market share of 49.18% as of October 2020.

It’s interesting to note that iPhones earned the top spot in October 2019 with a market share of 51.92% which gradually dropped and the top spot has since been taken over by Huawei. However, since September 2020, smartphone market share had been gradually increasing and in October, when Apple launched the iPhone 12 lineup, the market share of iPhones saw a steep jump.

As far as these metrics are concerned, it’s evident that the iPhone 12 was a hit; even in North Korea. The third spot includes South Korean smartphone vendor Samsung at 6.56% market share.

Interestingly enough, iPhones aren’t even sold in the country, according to Reuters.

“International brands such as Apple AAPL.O iPhones are not publicly on sale, but traders and wealthy North Koreans can buy them outside the country and use them with local SIM cards, defectors say.”

The only official phones in North Korea include phones made within the country featuring The Pyongyang Touch, Jindallae 3, Arirang 171, and more.

More than anything, it’s simply fascinating to learn that Apple, Huawei, and Samsung is influential even in countries that the company does not sell its products in.