Counterpoint Research team of Analysts have completed preliminary sizing of the China smartphone market as few OEMs have already released their Q1 2015 (Jan-Mar) performances. Following are our preliminary market share and rankings according to our quarterly Market Monitor service.
- The overall China smartphone market grew 7% annually but slowed down by 10% sequentially in spite of the Chinese holiday season
- Apple led the China smartphone market with a massive 16% share in Q1 2015.
- China is now the biggest market for Apple, bigger than USA.
- Apple grew faster than Xiaomi in China as the demand for the new iPhone 6 series has begun to attract and penetrate middle class Chinese consumers apart from the huge base of wealthy urban Chinese consumers
- Xiaomi was able to grow its share compared to last year, however, the growth has slowed down and players such as Huawei, Meizu and Oppo have been able to curtail growth prospects for Xiaomi in Q1 2015
- Huawei maintained the third spot with strong demand for its sub-brand Honor smartphones and models such as Ascend Mate and G series
- Samsung is trying to gain its footing after significant drop in share compared to last year
- However, the new A and E series portfolio has been able to halt the decline in mid-tier a bit and the upcoming Galaxy S6 series might able to help arrest share erosion in premium segment
- But the Chinese consumers are more and more aligned to buy the highly aspirational Apple branded offerings, that is where Apple has edge over Samsung in flagship premium segment as Samsung doesn’t have the brand equity or brand personality as Apple has
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