Trade Resources Industry Views Chinese Smartphone Makers Compete with Samsung, Apple

Chinese Smartphone Makers Compete with Samsung, Apple

China's top smartphone companies challenged Samsung and Apple with surging sales and revenue in 2014, vowing to scramble for a larger share in a global turf war with the top two makers.

As one of the major competitors, telecom behemoth Huawei Technologies reported a 45-percent rise in smartphone shipments in 2014, reaching more than 75 million units.

Sales revenue of Huawei's consumer goods branch, which makes mobile phones and other gadgets, increased 30 percent to 12.2 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Currently, Huawei is the world's third largest smartphone maker following Samsung and Apple, according to market tracker Gartner. They held a global market share of 5.3 percent, 24.4 percent and 12.7 percent respectively in the third quarter of 2014.

Last year, 52 percent of Huawei's smartphone sales revenue came from overseas markets. The tech giant's presence in Africa, Asia and Latin America was rapidly consolidated.

"We will try to rival Samsung and Apple globally in 2015," said Shao Yang, vice president of Huawei Consumer Business Group. He said the company will work to improve its overseas brand reputation.

Huawei aims to hike smartphone shipments to 100 million units and sales revenue to 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

Another homegrown smartphone maker Xiaomi said it sold 61.1 million units in 2014, surging 227 percent year on year. Its revenue grew 135 percent to 74.3 billion yuan (about 12 billion U.S. dollars).

Xiaomi is now marketing products in six foreign countries and regions. More than one million units have been sold in India, for example, one of the company's most successful markets abroad.

"We will enter more overseas markets in 2015 and strive for better performance there," said Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, who is called China's Steve Jobs by fans.

Steve Koenig, director of Industry Analysis of the Consumer Electronics Association, said Chinese smartphone brands are putting pressure on their global competitors.

Referencing Xiaomi Mi5 and Huawei Mate 7, Koenig said Chinese brands are not just focused on making cheap phones, but also on creating quite sophisticated devices.

Huawei's helmsman Ren Zhengfei said earlier this month at the World Economic Forum that the company will shift away from a growth route based on low price and low quality.

Gartner estimated that the combined global share of Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo increased 4.1 percentage points to 15.5 percent. Analysts predicted there is still great potential for further growth at their "home court", although China's mobile phone market is almost saturated.

"China's western regions, especially the rural areas, will see double-digit growth in smartphone sales in coming one to two years," said a research note from market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Fast-growing 4G networks will also create large room for compatible smartphones, according to IDC.


The South Korean company retains its crown as world No.1 smartphone maker, but its market share declined 7.7 percentage points from a year earlier to 24.4 percent in the third quarter.

Earnings from their mobile division rebounded on a quarterly basis, but the number dropped 64 percent on a year-on-year basis to 1.96 trillion won (1.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the fourth quarter.

Samsung launched two cheap models in January in its home market to fight China-made low-end smartphones.

To diversify earnings, Samsung will focus on Internet of Things in 2015 as one of its new growth engines.

Apple's financial results showed its quarterly revenue and net profits grew 30 percent and 38 percent annually in the fourth quarter.

These results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store.

Apple is experiencing their most rapid growth in China since opening the first store in 2008, according to Apple VP retail real estate/development Bob Bridger.

Earlier this month, a report from investment banking firm UBS showed China has overtaken the United States as the largest iPhone buyer thanks to strong demand for iPhone 6 and 6 plus.

Source: xinhua
Contribute Copyright Policy
Chinese Smartphone Makers Rise to Rival Samsung, Apple