Add to that the domestic lock that Chinese developers — with their Android apps —have on the local market, and the likelihood that the nation will become the player in the world's most populous countries, and Apple's ecosystem will be in a troubling spot.
How Apple reacts will be revealed in less than two weeks, when the company holds its iPhone unveiling event on Sept. 10. If it launches a low-priced model, one able to compete in China most of all, it will signal that it came to the same conclusion as Evans and realized it had to defend its ecosystem against an "Android-first" model there and elsewhere.
"It is the rest of the world that is the issue —most obviously China, which already has significantly more smartphone users than the U.S.," said Evans.
Some analysts, however, are convinced that Apple will not set its app ecosystem as its first priority, and will instead price the iPhone 5C at between $400 to $450.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.