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China Has Taken Over The Smartphone Industry!

3 of The Top 6 Smartphone Companies Are Chinese!

The IDC smartphone shipment numbers are out and the industry has seen another quarter of decline for smartphone sales globally down 6.6% from previous years. However, despite the decline in sales, the biggest losers have been Apple & Samsung, meanwhile China has been forging ahead with clear cut strategies that are shaking up the game. Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo have been posting some impressive numbers in Q1. 

The Top 6 Smartphone Companies

Source: IDC Mobile Tracker Q1 2019

#1) Samsung

Samsung still holds the title of top smartphone OEM for 2019 so far. Their marketshare has dropped by 8.1% with a global share of 23.5%. They managed to sell 71.9 million devices for Q1 of 2019. The S10 series is doing pretty good across the boards but Samsung is failing in their mid-range and budget department. The competition is outpacing them and as flagship sales decline, they will need to change their strategy in this area. 

#2) Huawei

Huawei is the clear cut #2 smartphone OEM in the world. They have experienced over a 50% growth rate and currently own 19% of the global smartphone marketshare. They sold 59.1 million phones in Q1 2019. The P30 series was released at the tail end of Q1, but Huawei’s flagships and their Honor sub brand and their budget devices have been performing extremely well. They have just released their flagship device under the Honor brand a few weeks ago and it will be interesting to see what the Q2 numbers look like amidst all of the ban conversations. Huawei is the closest to unseating Samsung as the #1 OEM.

#3) Apple

No company has fallen so far from grace over the past year than Apple. They are struggling. Their shipments have dropped over 30% from 2018, selling 36.4 million devices in Q1. The competition is innovating in all areas and Apple just can’t seem to keep up. Even with their trade in tactics and price slashing in Europe, they still have not been able to get consumers to upgrade their devices. As devices get more powerful, cheaper, and innovative, Apple has a tall task to ahead to keep their devices in the conversations of the best. Apple currently has 11% of the global marketshare. 

#4) Xiaomi

Xiaomi experienced a small decline in Q1 2019, from the same period the year before. They shipped 25 million phones in Q1 2019, which is down from the 27 million from Q1 2018. Xiaomi announced in 2018 that they would cap their profit margins at 5%, the only OEM in history to do that. What this has resulted in is devices with some of the most powerful specs coming in at half the price of other OEM’s flagship devices. Xiaomi is looking to expand into new markets and poses some formidable competition to every OEM. Xiaomi owns 8% of the global market.

#5) Vivo

Vivo rounds out the top 5 smartphone OEM’s in the world and sold 23.2 million devices in Q1 2019, just beating out Oppo for the 5th spot. Vivo has been on a roll launching some very powerful and innovative devices like the Vivo Dual display and the iQoo. Vivo owns 7.5% of the global marketshare. 

#6) Oppo

Oppo and Vivo have been going back and forth for some time now between the 5th and 6th spot. Oppo sold 23.1 million devices in Q1 2019 and currently owns 7.4% of the global marketshare. Oppo currently has one of the most popular series of phones for 2019, the Oppo Reno series and sales have been going great for them. We will see if it’s enough to break into the top 5 for Q2. 

The Chinese Are Winning With Innovation

When you take a look at the past 3 years of devices from Samsung & Apple, it is easy to see why their consumer base has struggled with the notion of upgrading their devices. Their smartphones have presented marginal upgrades and the market has responded with turning to other manufacturers or simply keeping their old Galaxy & Apple devices. The Chinese companies have been innovating at a high pace, either through technology or through prices.

The Chinese have devices starting from $350usd that are specced to compete with the most expensive flagships on the market. Now, when you see a device that costs over $800usd, you really need to take a look at the features and see if it justifies the extra spend. The average consumer wants a great device, that performs all of their tasks without fail, great battery life, and a good camera.

The great news is that those 3 main features are coming in cheaper and cheaper packages every single year. This year, Xiaomi’s sub brand “Redmi”, has given us the new Redmi K20 Pro, which has picked up from where the Pocophone brand left off in 2018. The Chinese firms know exactly what consumers want. Great products, at great prices and they are only pushing the boundaries further. 

So let us know in the comments below, will you be grabbing a smartphone from a Chinese OEM or will you be sticking to your Samsung or Apple devices?


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Keron Mcleish

Keron McLeish is the owner of Droid Island and has over 10+ years of international experience working for some of the biggest brands in mobile such as Apple, Telus, and Rogers. He is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is a trusted mobile expert in the region. In his off time, he can be found shooting airballs on the basketball court or eating a bake and shark on the beach.

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