Samsung Electronics

Led by Huawei, Chinese smartphone makers finally growing faster than Samsung

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 July, 2015, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 3:17pm

Unfazed by a slowdown in their home market, Chinese smartphone suppliers Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi and Lenovo Group all posted solid growth worldwide in the second quarter.

Preliminary data from research firm IDC showed that Huawei, China’s biggest telecoms equipment manufacturer, increased its smartphone shipments in the quarter by 48.1 per cent to 29.9 million units, up from 20.2 million units in the same period last year. 

Shenzhen-based Huawei moved past Lenovo to rank as the world’s third-biggest smartphone supplier in the last quarter, seizing an 8.9 per cent global market share on the back of strong sales in Europe, according to IDC.

Rapidly-growing technology start-up Xiaomi saw its shipments rise 29.4 per cent to 17.9 million units, up from 13.8 million a year ago. 

It cracked the top-five ranking last quarter to also move ahead of Lenovo, cornering a 5.3 per cent share as the world’s fourth-largest smartphone supplier.

IDC said Xiaomi continued to sell well in mainland China, while boosting its presence in India and countries in Southeast Asia like Singapore and Indonesia.

Computer giant Lenovo, which completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility last year, advanced its global smartphone shipments by 2.4 per cent in the second quarter to 16.2 million units, up from 15.8 million the previous year.

That was enough for Lenovo to seize a 4.8 per cent global market share and rank fifth among the world’s leading smartphone brands. It was ranked third in the first quarter this year.

IDC said Lenovo’s Motorola brand has managed to thrive in countries across North America and Europe, despite stiff competition. 

The company’s own Lenovo-brand smartphones have seen demand through online shopping sites in emerging markets like India.

“While the Chinese players are clearly making gains this quarter, every quarter sees new brands joining the market,” said Melissa Chau, a senior research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team. 

“IDC now tracks over 200 different smartphone brands globally, many of them focused on entry level and mid-range models, and most with a regional or even single-country focus.”

According to IDC, total smartphone shipments in the second quarter grew 11.6 per cent to 337.2 million units, up from 302.1 million a year earlier.

Samsung Electronics remained the global market leader last quarter, but saw its smartphone shipments drop 2.3 per cent to 73.2 million units, down from 74.9 million in the same period last year.

Apple, lifted by strong demand for its big-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, saw its second-quarter shipments climb 34.9 per cent to 47.5 million units, up from 35.2 million a year ago.

“The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets,” IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella said.