A new report from research company IDC was published on Tuesday, which found that Xiaomi and Apple achieved huge gains in China in the last quarter of 2014, while rival Samsung saw its share decrease as competing Android manufacturers gained with lower cost devices.
Xiaomi and Apple gain in China
IDC claims that smartphone companies shipped more than 107.5 million devices in the last December quarter, which represents impressive growth of 19% year over year.
Apple ended in second place with 12.3% of the Chinese market, which was a decent increase from the 7.4% it held in the same quarter in 2013.
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Chinese firm Xiaomi unsurprisingly took the number one position with a 13.7% share of the entire market, which is a 150% gain year-over-year. But Xiaomi’s market share dropped from 14.8% in Q3 2014, which suggests that other handset makers gained ground during the same period.
“Although the 3G phone shipments in China were affected by the reduction in operators’ subsidy, the market was able to grow in 2014Q4 due to its growth in 4G phones”, said Tay Xiaohan, a market analyst at IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
“Also,while the share of phones sold through operators dropped, the number of phones sold through eTailers increased (share increased from single to double-digit YoY) due to the popularity of eTailers such as jd.com and tmall.com. Apple’s launch of larger screen sized phones also helped to contribute to the increase in shipments” .
Samsung falls down the ranks
Samsung was at one time the top smartphone manufacturer in China by a huge margin, but in the fourth quarter fell to fifth place with just 7.9% of the market. That’s down from 11% in the third quarter and 18.8% the year before.
Samsung saw its overall share of the growing Chinese market shrink by 49.9% year over year, in the face of stiff competition from Xiaomi and Apple. Rounding out the top five vendors were Huawei and Lenovo in third and fourth place with 11% and 9.5% respectively.