Chinese smartphone brands grow on global market
CAPE TOWN - While global smartphone leaders Samsung and Apple have dominated the market over the past decade, Chinese brands such as Huawei have slowly taken bigger chunks of the pie with their powerful and affordable devices.
According to Hong Kong-based global analysis firm Counterpoint Research, Huawei overtook both Apple and Samsung in the second quarter of 2020 as the most-shipped smartphone with 54.8 million units, followed by Samsung with 54.2 million and Apple with 37.5 million.
In their early days, Chinese smartphones were considered cheaply made and unreliable, but they have since earned a reputation as being powerful devices with high-quality cameras.
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that lesser-known brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are showing growth in worldwide smartphone shipments, giving Chinese smartphones three spots in the top five most-shipped smartphones in 2020, with Huawei shipping 188.5 million, Xiaomi 149.6 million and Oppo 115.1 million.
“Huawei has always been committed to innovation and devoted to creating more value for consumers with better products,” Huawei said in a statement.
“Over the last year, our smartphone business has developed robustly, and tablet, PC and wearable have seen a significant growth.
“We remain confident about the future,” it read.
Meanwhile, due to US sanctions in 2020, Huawei experienced a major setback in shipments with a 41% year-on-year decline, according to Counterpoint Research.
Chinese smartphone makers have capitalised on the affordable low- to mid-range market, which has fewer premium features than their flagship models.
While Samsung and Apple released 5G on their premium models, Chinese manufacturers launched 5G on their low- to mid-range models, which cost as little as US$200 to US$300.
Apart from their affordability, Chinese smartphone makers teamed up with top photography companies to design and create high-quality cameras, some of which have built-in gimbal stabilisation to produce professional imagery.
And while Chinese manufacturers continue to innovate with powerful features and breakthrough designs, tech giant Huawei has even dipped its toes into the electric vehicle market, unveiling its EV range at the Auto Shanghai 2021 exhibition that started on Monday, April 19, and runs until April 28.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE