Chinese Smartphone Makers Lead in First Half of 2015 Shipments

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China’s Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo accounted for 3 of the top 5 smartphone vendors in Q2 2015 according to new data released by IDC to cap a successful first half of the year. The only non-Chinese companies in the top are perennial leaders Samsung and Apple.

Whereas it is noted that smartphone shipments in Q2 2015 dipped by just 0.4% when compared to a similar period last year, it is low cost smartphones which are selling in large quantities in emerging markets and not flagships that mostly helped balance things out.

Whereas Apple and Samsung’s stellar performance is mostly due to the sales of high end smartphones, the Chinese trio’s rise to prominence is mostly courtesy of low cost entry level and mid-range devices in the various markets they are active in.

Samsung is readying itself for an early Galaxy Note 5 release so as to one-up Apple’s rumoured iPhone 6s release scheduled for an October release and availability in the global market several weeks later. Even before it does so, Samsung has so far managed to stay ahead of the pack thanks to sales of its older high end smartphones which were heavily discounted as the company heavily pushed its current flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge. While the jury is still out on whether we can say the Galaxy S6 was a flop or not despite the high praise it earned from critics and admirers alike, Samsung was the only smartphone maker whose shipment volumes in the list slid year over year.

While Samsung shipped fewer smartphone units in Q2 2015, its competitors led by Apple were on the rise. Thanks to a surge in iPhone sales in China and continued hold on key smartphone markets in the West like Europe, Apple was able to have its best ever third quarter financials (Apple’s quarters are a bit different so their Q3 is everyone’s Q2).

Like we learned the other day, Huawei’s success in Q2 was as a result of strong sales of its devices from last year like the Mate 7 and the P7 and this year’s flagship, the P8, which managed to sell a million units in its first two months of availability in the market.

Xiaomi, the surprise force to reckon with from the East is staying put in the top 5 as it continues to upset traditional device makers in China like ZTE who now more than ever before have to keep up with the startups rapid rise to global prominence in the smartphone market. With focus on churning out competitively priced smartphones with flagship specifications and doing away with traditional retail channels, Xiaomi has been able to disrupt the market quickly and make a name for itself with its wide range of devices like the Mi Note and Redmi 2.

Xiaomi’s expansion has seen it branch out of its home in China to other key smartphone markets like India. It’s latest rendezvous is allowing customers to buy its devices from their Uber accounts and having them shipped via the ride-sharing company’s expansive cab network in the South East Asian nation.

Lenovo, one of the companies feeling the heat as a result of Xiaomi’s meteoric rise is just getting back to the top 5 after a short stint in the cold and will be hoping that high sales volumes expected from the upcoming devices from Motorola will go a long way in complementing its own Lenovo-branded devices in other markets.

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