Business / Technology

Chinese smartphone market kept growth last year

By Emma González Miguel ( Updated: 2015-02-27 17:46

The Chinese smartphone market continued its steady growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, helped by good performances by local brands, according to a report by technology consulting firm IDC.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc beat out international brands including South Korea's Samsung Electronics, and domestic rivals Huawei Technologies Co and Lenovo Group, to become the country's top smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Xiaomi managed to grab a 13.7 percent market share in the last quarter of the year, but the figure was still lower than the 14.8 percent market share it consolidated in the third quarter of 2014, IDC wrote. In 2014, Xiaomi also ranked as China's largest vendor with a total market share of 12.5 percent, compared to the much more modest 5.3 percent it achieved in 2013.

Apple Inc was ranked second in the fourth quarter with a 12.3 percent market share, helped by the launch of its iPhone 6 devices and its cooperation with local telecom operators.

Domestic manufacturers Huawei and Lenovo took the third and fourth positions, respectively, followed by South Korea's Samsung with a 7.9 percent market share.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, smartphone shipments to China climbed to 107.5 million units, an increase of 2 percent compared to a quarter earlier and up 19 percent on the year, according to IDC. China's total smartphone shipments in 2014 grew to 420.7 million units, an increase of 20 percent from 2013.

"Although carrier subsidy reductions are affecting 3G mobile phone shipments to China, growth in the fourth quarter was still driven by demand for 4G phones", said Xiaohan Tay, IDC senior market analyst for the Asia/Pacific region.

For 2015, the technology consulting firm is expecting an annual growth of 10 percent for the smartphone market in China.

"Due to the reduction of carrier subsidies, vendors such as ZTE and Huawei have started using direct marketing and e-commerce strategies to expand their sales online. If these companies manage to balance their online and offline strategies and find a unique positioning for their brands, then we could see further growth in 2015", explained Tay.


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