After many years of constant, impressive growth in overall smartphone demand, the Chinese market hit a big stagnation point in 2015, according to at least two research firms, with new trends favoring domestic manufacturers over the rulers of the Western mobile world.
Things got so bad for Samsung in the single biggest market around the globe that the Galaxy failed to make the local top five both in Q4 and as far as the whole year is concerned. Huawei won the October – December gold medal, with 15.2 percent share, followed closely by Xiaomi, Apple, Vivo and OPPO, at 14.8, 13.1, 10 and 9.2 percent totals respectively.
Note that bronze medalist Apple was the only outsider infiltrated in the chain of command, and the same goes for the year’s overall top five. Cupertino remained third in the 12-month hierarchy, but Huawei and Xiaomi actually traded places, the latter taking the crown by a microscopic 0.5 percent margin.
Going forward, the Chinese heavyweight champions that missed their ambitious 2015 sales objective may well bolster their foreign presence, but have great trouble retaining their indigenous domination, as “people are buying more premium handsets”, thus giving the competitive edge to Huawei.
The creators of the Nexus 6P, Ascend Mate 7, P8, Mate S and, most recently, Mate 8 are already outdoing the makers of the Mi 4, Mi Note, Redmi Note 3 and, soon enough, Mi 5 in terms of average smartphone price, at $306 to $149, up from $216 to $189 back in 2014. Apparently, a new financial juggernaut is being born.