Business / Technology

Chinese smartphone vendors on firm ground despite slowing global demand

By Liu Zheng ( Updated: 2016-02-19 14:23

Chinese smartphone vendors on firm ground despite slowing global demand

Journalists inspect the new smartphone Huawei Mate S ahead the of the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, Germany, September 2, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Global sales of smartphones totaled 403 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 9.7 percent year-on-year, according to a report released by analyst and research firm Gartner. However, it is the slowest growth rate since 2008.

The top five smartphone brands with biggest market share are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi. The three top Chinese mobile makers jointly took a 17-percent share of the market in Q4 last year, up from 16.5 percent year-on-year.

"Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

"An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the mid-range and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones," he added, according to a statement by Gartner.

"With an increase in sales of 53 percent in Q4, Huawei achieved the best performance year over year. Huawei's increased brand visibility overseas, and its decision to sell almost only smartphones, gave it a higher average selling price in 2015," said the report.

Huawei shipped more than 100 million handsets globally last year, and more than 70 percent were sold in China. The company is also eyeing Apple and Samsung's share in the premium-end market, where the retail price for a device is well above $600.

According to China Daily, some of the top-tier domestic brands, including Huawei and Xiaomi, have announced plans to introduce next-generation devices with new features, better quality and potentially, a higher price, at the upcoming Mobile World Congress held through Feb 22-25 in Barcelona.

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