Apple has been outpaced in the Chinese market by lead rival Samsung and three other smartphone OEMs, according to ABI Research.
Samsung retained its leading smartphone market share of 17%, while Lenovo took second with 13%, Coolpad was third with 10%, and Xiaomi edged out Apple with 6.5% share.
“Even though these OEMs are only selling into the Chinese market, the size of the market has allowed them to achieve shipment volumes that place these OEMs in the top 12 globally,” says senior analyst Michael Morgan. “It is not hard to imagine these OEMs as global competitors within the next 2 years.”
Because China is the largest smartphone market, accounting for 28% of all smartphone shipments in Q2, success in China carries an increasingly global significance. These three rising stars accounted for 11.1% of all worldwide shipments in the quarter. The sheer size of the Chinese market has made it one of the most coveted for tier 1 OEMs looking to expand share and secure a future as smartphone market growth becomes increasingly dependent on emerging and low-cost markets.
As Apple continues to struggle with delivering low-cost products, Chinese OEMs continue to press their advantage of competitive hardware at lower price points. “China has proven to be an excellent environment for local OEMs to test and prove their business models. In time it will be interesting to see if their unique home-field advantages can be leveraged beyond the Chinese market,” adds senior practice director Jeff Orr.