Canalys, a company that delivers smart market insights, has just released new data for the global first quarter smartphone sales this year. As expected the market grew by as much as 29% for Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013 results however is lower by 5% by the seasonally strong Q4 2013 sales. Samsung still remained as the company that shipped out the most smartphones holding a 31% share.
The data released by Canalys also shows that 5 of the smartphone company’s in the top ten list are Chinese companies. These are Huawei (third), Lenovo (fourth), Xiaomi (sixth), Yulong (eight), and ZTE (ninth). The reason for this is that China is currently the world’s largest smartphone market which accounts for 55% of shipments compared to only 12% for that of the US.
According to Canalys Research Analyst Jingwen Wang, “Though Samsung remained the leading vendor in China with an 18% share, the Chinese smart phone market continues to be driven by the dynamism and aspirations of local vendors. Helped by its Redmi range, Xiaomi became a top three vendor in China for the first time during the quarter, when just a year ago it was a niche player. This domestic success has helped Xiaomi to become the sixth largest global smart phone vendor, despite 97% of its shipments being in mainland China, helped by its competitive hardware and innovative marketing strategy. But other Chinese vendors are achieving increasing international success. 37% of TCL-Alcatel’s shipments were in Latin America, 23% in North America and just 8% in China. ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo shipped 43%, 40% and 15% of their respective handsets outside of China as they look to compete more and more on a global stage.”
What’s interesting to note is that newcomer Xiaomi is now on the top ten list holding on to the sixth spot. The company has ousted HTC from the list. This is pretty impressive considering that 97% of all Xiaomi phones are sold in China. This means that once the company starts its global expansion then its ranking will increase further. Right now the company is busy expanding its market to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Turkey, Brazil, and Russia.
Xiaomi started operations just 4 years ago and in this small amount of time it is already one of the most popular brands in China. What makes the company successful is that it introduces high quality products at affordable prices. The company is known for selling out its newly released smartphone models just minutes after they have been released in the market.
One other interesting trend that the newly released data shows is that a one third of all smartphones sold for Q1 2014 had at least 5-inch displays. This means that consumers are now looking for devices with bigger displays.