China Remains a Tough Market for Samsung and Apple

Xiami Mi6 (Chinese smartphone market)

The global smartphones market has been growing steadily for the past few years. The level of competition in the industry has also increased in recent years. The number of smartphone manufacturers has also increased over the years making the market tougher. Though Samsung and Apple are the two strongest forces in the industry, the smaller forces show no fear in fighting for market share. The Chinese smartphone market is the perfect example of the competition in the smartphone industry. The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to increase in coming years. Thus the smartphone market is expected to continue growing with increased sales for the foreseeable future.

The two giants in the global smartphones market have been Samsung and Apple for many years now. But they recently have been facing challenges from local brands in China. China is the biggest market in the industry and so is a major battle ground for smartphone makers. The Chinese market is an extremely competitive one due to the number of local brands present. Even giants like Samsung and Apple face difficulties in this market. Some of these Chinese local brands have been able to go far above Samsung and Apple in sales in China.

Chinese smartphone market

The Chinese market is huge and the smartphone penetration rate is high. The Chinese smartphone market is the perfect start for any serious smartphone manufacturer who intends to go on world conquest. Thus, the numerous Chinese smartphone brands fight hard to have a firm stand in China. The number of smartphone users worldwide is forecast to reach 2.71 billion by 2019 and China is expected to account for 675 million of this number. This makes the chines smartphone market very attractive to any smartphone maker. In 2017, China is expected to control about a third of the global smartphone market. This makes the Chinese smartphone market a big battle ground for all major smartphone manufacturers.

Samsung and Apple are the most globally recognized and appreciated smartphone brands. But they face a serious challenge from Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xioami in China. These Chinese manufacturers constantly release new and innovative products to the market. They have been able to capture their local market with cheap and quality products.

Tough Chinese smartphone market

Samsung and Apple’s biggest challenges in the Chinese smartphone market are Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have been in front of Samsung and Apple in China for some time, but recently Xiaomi has added to the list. According to recent data from Counterpoint research, the Chinese market has become really tough for Samsung and Apple. Huawei leads the Chinese smartphone market with 20.2% market share. Oppo is next with 18.8%, Vivo sits on 17% while Xiaomi occupies 13% of the Chinese smartphone market as of Q2 2017. All four have gained market share compared to same period last year. Apple and Samsung on the other have lost market share. They both occupy 8.2 and 3% of Chinese market share respectively.

Infographic: Domestic Players Dominate China's Smartphone Market | Statista

There are many other local Chinese brands -Lenovo, Oneplus, ZTE and others- that are also coming up. These smartphone makers may also someday nibble market share from Samsung and Apple. If Huawei and the others have been able to surpass Samsung and Apple, then certainly they could too. Beating these two giants in sales even in a single country is an achievement for local brands, I imagine. I any case, the Chinese market is big and will continue to be a major market in the smartphone industry.

Despite all the above, Huawei, Oppo Vivo, Xiaomi and all the other local Chinese brands are nowhere near Samsung and Apple in the global smartphone market. Samsung and Apple still largely dominate worldwide smartphone sales. They are by far the highest recognized smartphone brands in the world.


    • Hello Karan,
      Sure, price is important in the Chinese market. While it may be true that quality is compromised, the fact remains that Chinese brands like Huawei are gaining serious popularity worldwide.
      Thanks for stopping by.

        • Hi, Suraj,
          Huawei has become a very popular brand. Its very successful telecoms business has contributed greatly to its worldwide recognition. The company’s smartphone business has sure benefited from this popularity.

          Thanks for stopping by.

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