2014 has been a year of the underdog in the smartphone industry. It heralded the arrival of multiple newcomers into the industry and they all garnered their very own fan bases. Interestingly enough, almost all of these newcomers are Chinese. Not content with being the largest population in the world, China has stormed the tech industry, manufacturing the majority of electronic products used worldwide and now it has its sights set on the smartphone industry. If you haven’t noticed yet, the local smartphone shops have been increasingly filled with devices from names such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo and OnePlus, so much so they may seem to outnumber the household names such as Samsung.
According to a report from Taiwanese market intelligence provider, TrendForce, 38.6% of all smartphones shipped in 2014 were Chinese-manufactured. That’s close to half a million devices sold for a group that can still be considered infants in the smartphone industry. And TrendForce expects this trend to continue in force! They expect worldwide smartphone shipment attributed to Chinese OEM’s to account for over 40% in 2015 and around 50% by 2016.
In 2014, the three biggest names in Chinese smartphones were Xiaomi with 14% of the market share, Lenovo and Yulong tied with 12% a piece and also Huawei with 11%. And it is no surprise that their sales are higher than the two heavyweights of the industry, Samsung and Apple. The hallmarks of Chinese devices that make them so much more attractive is their ability to blend cutting edge specs with an amazingly low price tag. Perhaps this could be one of the causes of decline for both Samsung and Apple in 2014.
Samsung in particular have been hit hard, both globally and in China. The Korean giants have seen a recent drop in popularity in China, on top of posting quarterly losses throughout 2014 stemming from the underwhelming performance of their smartphone division. To make matters worse, a poll conducted by China Brand Research Center (CBRC) surveying brand popularity between August 2013 and January 2014 rated Samsung below Apple.
An important thing to note however is that devices shipped does not necessarily mean devices sold, but it does give a clear picture on the increased demand of smartphones from China. With more Chinese OEM’s pushing the boundaries of smartphone tech and rallying up more support, expect more Chinese domination come 2015.