[UPDATE] Chinese smartphone sales are soaring right now and the country is set to surpass the US as the world’s largest smartphone market. Sino-Mr, a leading Chinese market research company, reveal that Chinese branded mobile phones (include 2G features phone and 3G smartphones) had captured over 70 percent of the domestic market share in terms of sales volume by the end of November. It means more and more Chinese consumers are willing to buy domestic phones. A total of 24.59 million mobile phones were sold in China in November, several brands reported a month-on-month growth of within 0.5 percentage points. The data also show us that 11.65 million mobile phones were sold through the telecoms operators …
One of the reason why China-made mobile phones take more domestic market share is the price. Many kinds of domestic mobile phone were sold very cheap such as Xiaomi, HUAWEI or ZTE. In China, many consumers especially people from smaller towns or countryside like to look for smartphones that cost 1,500 yuan ($240) or less. They are opting for local brands over international counterparts. Samsung, which has a market share of 15.5 percent, remained the champion in China’s mobile phone market in November, and it was followed by Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia, Gionee, K-Touch, Apple and HTC. (6 China brands, 1 Taiwanese brand and 3 global brands)
Many domestic mobile phone producers have close cooperative ties with three of the country’s major telecom companies, now command an absolute majority when it comes to sales through this distribution channel. Among Chinese leading mobile phone brands, Coolpad’s market share grew most rapidly, up 1.6 percent month-on-month, thanks to the cooperation with telecoms operators. You have probably never heard of Yulong or its Coolpad brand, but in China it’s a top 3 smartphone maker beating out even the iPhone in device sales. In China, Coolpad sells a full range of smartphones and they are specialized in dual-mode phones that combine two disparate radio technologies. The company entered the U.S. market during August with its first budget smartphone on MetroPCS LTE network.
Chinese brands have taken more than half the Chinese smartphone market this year, and they will take much more. This could become a problem for Samsung’s and Apple’s profitability if consumers in China start to favor lower-priced smartphones with ‘good enough’ features and performance. Samsung cannot compete effectively in the country’s low-end market because its lowest-priced smartphones are still around US$200. Apple even faces a bigger dilemma in China given its total lack of low-end models. 2013 will certainly be a more challenging year for the international brands.
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