It's that time of year when the third quarter reports on the top global smartphone vendors are released, and there were no surprises – Samsung, Apple and LG took the top three spots according to Digitimes Research. Close on their heels are the up and coming smartphone manufacturers direct from China as Huawei, Xiaomi Technology and Lenovo took fifth, sixth and seventh place…and most of their devices, especially Xiaomi and Lenovo have never really left the Asian areas.
As the China vendors begin to expand globally, their combination of high quality and specs at mid-range phone prices could really change the landscape over the next couple of years. In fact, five of the top ten vendors during the January through September period were China-based vendors – Xiaomi lead the way for China vendors with almost a 200-percent growth in their shipments compared to the same period last year. What is also interesting is that China's ZTE was number eight last year among China vendors, however, they have dropped out of the top ten this year.
As global smartphone sales start to slow down from meteoric growth, smartphone companies will have to do more to grab that smaller piece of the pie. Global shipments are expected to grow less than 30-percent over last year, reaching 1.219 billion in sales. In 2015, researchers expect global ships to slow down to only a 22-percent increase. Much of the growth now is coming from emerging nations as networks, including 4G, are starting to spring up and customers are demanding smartphones – India and China are great examples of untapped sales potential. This is where the China companies are making a killing – they offer the perfect combination of high quality at a reasonable price, and customers cannot get enough of them. It is very hard for Samsung, Apple and LG to compete in these areas unless they are willing to take a lessor profit margin…which still does not help their bottom line.
We have seen many changes in the top three vendors this year alone – Samsung is still holding on to the top position, but that is only because they had such a commanding lead until their disappointing Galaxy S5 sales were down 40-percent. They are even talking of moving executives around to shake things up as they work to regain their dominance. Apple is enjoying it largest growth in revenue in almost two years as the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are strong sellers. LG is also on the rise as they sold 16.8 million devices last quarter which is up 39-percent from the same time last year and recorded their highest profits since 2009.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about these top-three manufacturers and what direction do you see them going in the next year…as always, we would love to hear from you.