The Chinese smartphone market is on fire right now, it’s expanding at a growth that many of us didn’t expect to happen, and there’s obviously a lot of money to be made. However, it’s not the companies like Samsung, HTC, Sony and co. that have been doing well in China. Instead, it’s homegrown companies like Xiaomi and Huawei that are eating up market share in the ever expanding Chinese smartphone market. Samsung though, has been one of the few mainstream OEMs to maintain a foothold in the region as newcomers solidify their market share and continue to grow. Now though, Samsung has fallen to third place, slipping behind Apple in the latest figures for Q4 2014.
Strategy Analytics’ figures for Q4 2014 show that Apple rose to 10.9% share in Q4, beating Samsung’s drop to 9.8% while Xiaomi continued to stay on top. As we can see, the Chinese smartphone market is often a tight race, with many companies getting by with less than a 10%. Both big names Huawei and Lenovo are in the top group of manufacturers, but each have less than 10% market share. These are figures for the end of last year though, and continue the trend that we’ve been seeing with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus; that Apple’s larger phones are finally giving the buying public what they want.
Throughout all of 2014 though, Samsung shipped a sizeable 58.5 Million smartphones to China, with Xiaomi shipping 57.8 Million smartphones, and Apple just 31.1 Million units. Of course, these are devices shipped, not sold and pricing has a lot to do with things. If Xiaomi sold 50 Million of those units, we’d estimate that 30 Million units from Apple would cost the same sort of money. Either way, it’s an interesting look at how competitive the Chinese smartphone market is.
It’s no wonder that firms like Xiaomi, Huawei and Meizu result to flash sales and social media in order to drum up interest. With so much competition in the region, there’s not much market share to go around, but companies like Xiaomi and Meizu have made a name for themselves and we feel it’ll be a long time before Samsung or Apple can rival their brand presence in the region.