Despite Chinese consumers' unceasing ardor for Apple iPhones, two homegrown companies – Xiaomi and Huawei – have recently overtaken the California kingpin in smart phone market share in China.
One in three smart phones shipped in China were from Xiaomi Inc or Huawei Technologies Co Ltd in the second quarter of 2015, according to data released Monday by Canalys, a mobile market research firm.
Xiaomi, headquartered in Beijing, holds a 15.9 percent market share, according to Canalys estimates. Huawei, based in Shenzhen, has a 15.7 percent share. Apple came in third, followed by Samsung and Vivo.
"The China smart-phone market continues to mature, remaining stagnant quarter-on-quarter," said Jingwen Wang, analyst at Canalys. "Competition among major brands has never been so intense. Huawei recorded the highest smartphone shipments in its history without compromising its product margin or profitability.”
"Apple and Samsung have both increased their sales activities in the China market, expanding rapidly in channel coverage through flagship stores and small-to-medium-size phone retailers, respectively," Wang said. "Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come."
Huawei, which has a US division headquartered in Plano, Texas, reported in July that global shipments of its phones were up 39 percent year over year in the first half of 2015. The company focuses on mid- to high-end models.
A Huawei executive said last month that his company and Xiaomi are selling to different market segments in China.
"We’re different than Xiaomi," Deputy Chairman Ken Hu told journalists, reported Agence France Presse. "No two companies are alike. If you want to compare us to other companies, you can see from the increase in sales volume that we have a lot of advantages."
Huawei is going after South Korea's Samsung in the battle for the Android space in China and is also investing in 5G technology for the future.