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Samsung Electronics Down to 4th in Chinese Smartphone Market in Q1
Penetrating China
Samsung Electronics Down to 4th in Chinese Smartphone Market in Q1
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • May 4, 2015, 02:45
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A Samsung sign stands out over the grey of a Hong Kong harbor day.
A Samsung sign stands out over the grey of a Hong Kong harbor day.

 

According to the numbers, Samsung Electronics dropped down to fourth place in the Chinese smartphone market share, following local manufacturers Xiaomi and Huawei and Apple, in the first quarter this year.

Strategy Analytics (SA), a market research firm in the U.S., announced on April 30 that Xiaomi sold 14 million units and ranked first in the share in the Chinese smartphone market with 12.8 percent in the first quarter this year. Accordingly, Xiaomi has maintained the top spot in the market for three consecutive quarters. However, its market share decreased nearly 3 percent from 15.7 percent in the previous quarter, showing a slowdown in growth.

Apple, with its great hit of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus with bigger screens, took second place. The company sold 13.5 million units, which is slightly lower than Xiaomi, and recorded a 12.3 percent market share. It has ranked second for two quarters in a row. Industry sources said that Apple sold a maximum of 20 million iPhones in Chinese-speaking countries, including the mainland of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

SA paid attention to the fact that Apple significantly narrowed the gap with Xiaomi, even though the company came in second. In fact, Apple had a 2 percent difference in terms of the market share with Xiaomi with 12.8 percent in the fourth quarter last year but it narrowed the gap to 0.5 percent point in one year, being hot on the trail of Xiaomi.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei ranked third place. The company sold 11.2 million units and it came in third with a 10.2 percent market share. Since 2012, Huawei was always in the top five in the market at home, but this is the first time to become one of top three for a quarter.

There is no official information revealed about the sales and share of the Chinese market in the first quarter for Samsung Electronics, which has the highest sales figures in the global smartphone market. Since 2011, the company had maintained first place in the Chinese market until the third quarter last year, when Xiaomi ranked first. In the fourth quarter of last year, Apple took second place, putting Samsung Electronics in third. This time, the company fell to fourth place, overtaken by Huawei.

Samsung Electronics, with a 12.1 percent market share in the fourth quarter last year, seemed to come in fourth or fifth with an early 10 percent in terms of market share in the first quarter of this year.

An official from the industry said, “It clearly shows that Samsung Electronics is sandwiched between Apple and low-end smartphone manufacturers in China in the first quarter. We should watch whether the Galaxy S6 will help Samsung to regain its wounded pride in the Chinese market.”