Chinese smartphone makers win as market swells

Chinese smartphone makers racked up big gains as the global market for Internet-linked handsets grew to record levels in the second quarter, International Data Corp said Tuesday.

Huawei and Lenovo, both based in China, came out winners as a record-high 295.3 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in the second quarter of this year, according to IDC.

"As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones," IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau said in a release with the quarterly figures.

"The offer of smartphones at a much better value than the top global players but with a stronger build quality and larger scale than local competitors gives these vendors a precarious competitive advantage."

The overall market grew 23.1 percent when compared with the same quarter a year earlier, IDC reported.

The market tracker cited ongoing demand for accessing computing power on the go along with an abundance of low-priced smartphones with fueling the quarterly growth.

"A record second quarter proves that the smartphone market has plenty of opportunity and momentum," said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.

More than a dozen companies are jockeying for position among the top five smartphone vendors, according to Reith.

Buyers in emerging markets such as China supporting local smartphone makers boosted sales results, IDC said.

Huawei nearly doubled its shipments from the same quarter a year ago, while Lenovo also weighed in with strong performance, IDC figures indicated.

South Korea-based Samsung shipped millions of its premium Galaxy line of smartphones but saw its overall market share slip seven percent.

Apple typically sees an easing of iPhone sales in the second quarter, but they slowed even more this time around, with IDC blaming rumors that a big-screen iPhone 6 will be released later this year.

The Silicon Valley based iPhone maker was, however, enjoying sales success in China and other developing regions, according to IDC.

Samsung was the top vendor with 74 million handsets shipped, followed by Apple (35 million), Huawei (20 million), Lenovo (15.8 million) and South Korean LG (14.5 million).

© 2014 AFP

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