In the third quarter of 2014, three of the top five smartphone vendors were Chinese as Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo grew their collective market share by 4.1 percentage points.
“With the ability to undercut cost and offer top specs Chinese brands are well positioned to expand in the premium phone market too and address the needs of upgrade users that aspire to premium phones, but cannot afford Apple or Samsung high-end products,” Cozza adds.
Meanwhile, Apple’s and Samsung’s combined smartphone share totalled 37 percent in the third quarter of 2014, down 7 percentage points from the same period last year.
“The smartphone market is more than ever in flux as more players step up their game in this space,” Cozza adds.
Sales of Samsung’s feature phones and smartphones declined in the third quarter of 2014, and Samsung lost market share in both markets.
Samsung’s deepest decline came from feature phones, which decreased by 10.8 percent year-over-year. Demand for Samsung’s smartphones weakened mostly in Western Europe and Asia.
Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 28.6 percent in China, the biggest market for Samsung.
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Sales of iPhones grew 26 percent in the third quarter of 2014. With the introduction of two large-screen phones for the first time, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple managed to neutralise the advantage of Android competitors.
Gartner expects Apple to experience its biggest ever fourth-quarter sales, with both of its large-screen phones seeing demand exceed supply since their launch.
Although Huawei moved into the No. 3 position in the third quarter of 2014 there is still less than 1 million units between the bottom-three smartphone vendors in the top five.
Xiaomi made its debut among the top-five smartphone vendors. It experienced the highest growth of the quarter, with an increase of 336 percent driven by strong performance in China where it became market leader.