Displaying items by tag: Xiaomi

China’s smartphone market suffers first ever annual decline

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:48

China suffered its first ever annual smartphone decline, with shipments down 4% from 2016 to 459 million units in 2017, Canalys research indicates. This drop was partly due to China having one of its worst year-on-year performances in Q4 2017, with shipments plummeting by over 14% to just under 113 million units.

Huawei grew shipments by 9% against the overall market decline, shipping more than 24 million smartphones and staying on top. Shipments fell for both Oppo and Vivo, by 16% and 7% respectively, but they held onto their respective second- and third-place positions. Oppo shipped 19 million smartphones, while Vivo shipped 17 million. Apple overtook Xiaomi to take fourth place, pushing Xiaomi back to fifth with 13 million units.

Huawei had its best ever quarter in its home market, shipping more than 24 million smartphones in Q4, to reach a total of 90 million in 2017. “Huawei’s push into tier-three and tier-four cities has yielded positive results,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.

“Nova and Honor have successfully gained share from smaller vendors, such as Gionee and Meizu. Honor’s performance has complemented Huawei’s success, by contributing more than half of Huawei’s total shipments,” Jia added. “But competition between Huawei and Honor is getting fierce, and Huawei must deal with possible internal cannibalization.”

Despite the dip in Q4, Oppo and Vivo both saw double-digit annual growth in 2017, according to Canalys. “The market has slowed faster than expected. Being aware of inventory issues, both vendors have set up flagship stores in tier-one cities to boost their branding and drive value growth,” said Jia. “Failure to drive footfall, however, will threaten Oppo and Vivo’s ongoing channel transformation and render the exercise futile.”

Canalys Research Analyst Hattie He said the declining Chinese market will have a “detrimental impact” on those Chinese vendors that have been heavily replying on their home market. “It will affect their cash flow and profitability, limiting overseas expansion and bringing into question future survival,” He said.

With Lenovo and ZTE refocusing on the Chinese market in 2018, competition will intensify among vendors outside the top five. “There is little room left for the smaller vendors,” said He. “The leading players will make aggressive plans to maintain or grow their market share. We can expect a major market shake-up in China in 2018.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi replaces Samsung as India’s top smartphone supplier

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:16

India’s smartphone market has finally seen a change at the top, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi now leading with shipments close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Despite annual growth of 17%, South Korea’s Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.

The smartphone market in India grew by a modest 6% overall, in line with Canalys forecasts, following the seasonal dip as vendors and channel partners take stock after a busy Q3. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo rounded out the top five, while total smartphone shipments were just shy of 30 million units.

“Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst. “Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations.”

Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50% of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27% and second-place Samsung at 25%.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.”

Despite Samsung’s ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for its devices has been weak, Doshi adds. But it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”

Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors.

“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “As Xiaomi’s market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi plans to go public

Written on Sunday, 21 January 2018 13:27

Chinese electronics and software company Xiaomi has reportedly signed on bankers to support an expected initial public offering (IPO) which could value the company at $100 billion, Bloomberg said. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanely have been selected by Xiaomi, with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank playing a role, the report speculates.

Xiaomi experienced a weak 2016 only to return to much stronger growth in 2017. Therefore, there is significant interest in the company going public. According to reports, the Chinese company is set to smash its annual target, with strong profitability. Xiaomi’s value was proposed at $50 billion in earlier reports, but now it’s being valued at $100 billion.

Xiaomi still faces challenges, however, despite its strong growth. The company will need to enter new additional markets if its smartphone segment is to keep growing, because competition in its home country of China is heavy. Xiaomi has succeeded in establishing itself in markets like India, but expanding further will not be an easy process for the company.

Working with partners and building a strong hardware ecosystem resulted in Xiaomi’s Mi smartphone brand gaining strength in the consumer space, the Bloomberg report said. It adds that Xiaomi’s strength in software has set it apart from other Chinese vendors.

Published in Finance

Xiaomi could become second largest smartphone vendor by 2018

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 08:06

Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in Q3 almost doubled from a year ago, according to research from Strategy Analytics. It’s forecast that Xiaomi could become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor by 2018, overtaking OPPO, Huawei and Apple, if current momentum continues.

Global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach 393 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 21 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple held steady at 12 percent and Huawei at 10 percent.

Global smartphone adoption growth in Q3 can be attributed to first-time buyers across emerging markets in Asia and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics Director, Linda Sui.

Xiaomi soared 91 percent annually with 27.7 million shipments for a record 7 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 4 percent a year ago. Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, according to Strategy Analytics, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio.

Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q3, rising 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016. This was the company’s fastest growth rate in almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston.

Apple grew a below-average 3 percent annually and shipped 46.7 million smartphones for 12 percent marketshare worldwide in Q3, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in many countries, Mawston said, such as Germany and China.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 9 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market, said Strategy Analytics Director, Woody Oh. Huawei is performing well across Asia, Europe and Africa, Oh said, with popular Android models such as the P10 and Nova 2.

Published in Telecom Industry

Xiaomi launches Mi MIX 2 and Mi Note 3 smartphones

Written on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 08:19

Xiaomi launched its new Mi MIX 2 and Mi Note 3 smartphones on Sept. 11. The Mi MIX 2 is an evolution of Xiaomi’s Mi MIX concept phone unveiled a year ago. In addition to raiding the bar for its MIX series, Xiaomi has also upgraded its Mi Note product line with the launch of the Mi Note 3, which sports a dual-camera setup and 16-megapixel front camera.

“Mi MIX gave everyone a glimpse of what the phone of the future would look like,” said Xiaomi CEO and founder Lei Jun. “We made a concept phone that defied everyone's expectations about smartphone design, and it has pioneered the trend of full screen display smartphones. With Mi MIX 2, the future is now here. It has evolved from a design and technology test-bed into a user-friendly phone catered to a wider consumer group than ever before, while still evoking the wow factor.”

The Mi MIX 2 underscores Xiaomi’s commitment to innovation while making its products affordable to the widest range of consumers. Starting from RMB 3299 (US$500), the device will be available in China from September 15 onwards and will make its way to selected global markets at a later date.

Xiaomi’s Mi MIX smartphone was the Android-based device with a 17:9 aspect ratio high-definition screen and rounded display corners, which helped pave the way for Google’s Android CDD (Compatibility Definition Document) eventually allowing screen aspect ratio beyond 16:9, as well as rounded display corners.

The Mi MIX 2 builds on the foundation of the original concept. The new device is 11.9 percent smaller than Mi MIX, and has a 5.99-inch screen with an 18:9 full screen display. It features a hidden speaker that only takes up a thin silver space between the top edge of the phone and screen.

The front camera remains at the chin of the device and it continues using the ultrasonic proximity sensor, which allows the device itself with all components to fade into the background, while the focus is entirely on the screen.

The Mi MIX 2 was jointly designed with renowned French designer Philippe Starck, and it represents Xiaomi’s efforts in pushing ahead with the use of ceramic. IT features a ceramic back, with a four-sided curved design that transitions smoothly into the aluminium frame. The Mi MIX 2 Special Edition features a ceramic unibody – a first for any smartphone.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and up to 8GB RAM, the Mi MIX 2 uses the latest Sony IMX386 sensor in its 12-megapixel camera, and comes with 4-axis OIS that reduces the effect of handshake or motion, so images and videos remain sharp.

The device will be available in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 6GB + 256GB versions, priced at RMB 3299/3599/3999 respectively. Mi MIX 2 Special Edition, which comes with a ceramic unibody in either white or black, comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for RMB 4699.

Mi Note 3

With a dual-camera setup and a 16-megapixel front camera, Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3 smartphone is a larger version of Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 6 launched earlier this year. It has a 5.5-inch display and a larger 3500mAh battery. Mi Note 3 will be available in China starting 12 September priced from RMB 2499 (US$380) onwards.

The dual camera setup with wide angle and telephoto lenses gives users the ability to shoot portraits with out-of-focus backgrounds. The front camera captures light better with less image noise thanks to large 2μm pixels, achieved by combining multiple pixels on the image sensor into one.

The ‘Beautify’ feature gets an upgrade in Mi Note 3 with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for more natural selfies. Mi Note 3 also has a new unlocking method through AI-based facial recognition, so unlocking the phone is just like taking a selfie.

Published in Devices

Google revives Android One with launch of Xiaomi’s Mi A1

Written on Monday, 11 September 2017 12:17

Xiaomi just launched the Mi A1 smartphone in collaboration with Alphabet’s Google, the first Xiaomi device to run on the evolved Android One program. Priced from INR 14,999 in India (US$233.90), Mi A1 combines hardware innovations, including an optical zoom dual camera setup, with Google-designed software. 

The device runs on stock Android to offer a high-quality software experience designed by Google, underscoring Xiaomi’s commitment to providing more choices for users. At a launch event in New Delhi, India, it was announced that Mi A1 would be available in India and also in more than 40 markets around the world including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Poland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Mexico.

Android One is a low cost line of devices that run the Android operating system – a hardware and software standard created by Google for Android systems and customers in the developing world, although later on it was made available in limited form in some developed nations. Android One phones initially rolled out in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and other South Asian countries in 2014.

When Google started Android One in 2014 – a signature project of Google CEO Sundar Pichai (then Google’s Android head) – the company’s early OEM partners couldn’t sell enough of the devices, thus interest waned, Bloomberg reported. Google has now teamed with Xiaomi to bring the program back to life for India, continuing a stalled effort to showcase its mobile software for users in emerging markets.

Xiaomi and Google are now together aiming at the middle market with the launch of Mi A1, which will likely see them reach fewer Indian buyers, but also avoid the intensely competitive low end market, where brand affiliation matters less and margins are thin, Bloomberg highlighted.

“Mi A1 is a strategic device in our global expansion, marking a milestone on our quest to bring innovation to everyone,” said Xiaomi Senior Vice President Wang Xiang. “From the beginning Xiaomi has been all about choice, and we are delighted to offer users a new way to experience the power of Xiaomi.”

Wang noted that this is a logical extension of Xiaomi’s long partnership with Google. “Google has been a great partner, and given our strong collaboration, we thought their idea to launch a Xiaomi smartphone on Android One would be a great opportunity to give our users a different user experience,” he said. “I’m truly excited about what this partnership will bring to our users across the world!”

What’s it got to offer? Mi A1 incorporates a dual camera configuration similar to that in Mi 6, Xiaomi’s latest flagship device, with wide angle and telephoto lenses used to incredible effect. The two lenses allow Mi A1 to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect that typically requires a DSLR lens to achieve, allowing the user to create photos of unparalleled clarity and color.

In addition, an improved ‘Beautify’ mode that makes selfies look more natural, now works with both the front 5MP camera as well as the 12MP dual rear camera. Mi A1 supports 2x optical zoom, which makes photos of distant subjects remain clear, while 10x digital zoom is also supported.

Mi A1 is Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, with a software experience designed by Google, offering users a simple, pure Android phone that stays fresh over time with OS upgrades. As an Android One smartphone, Mi A1 comes with the most popular Google services built-in as default, such as free unlimited high quality storage from Google Photos.

Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold, Mi A1 has a full-metal body design that measures just 7.3mm in thickness, with discreet separation lines for a seamless look and rounded edges for great hand feel. It also comes with a rear fingerprint sensor.

Featuring a 5.5-inch 2.5D curved glass screen with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, the device also boasts a 10v power amplifier for deeper lows and higher volumes, ensuring it provides an immersive media experience. A dedicated amplifier also provides support for high-impedance headphones (up to 600 ohms).

The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor based on the 14nm manufacturing process, as well as a 3080mAh battery. It also features 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

Published in Devices

Xiaomi maintains lead in wearables for second quarter

Written on Sunday, 10 September 2017 08:14

Chinese firm Xiaomi maintained its lead in wearables for the second quarter of 2017, as the worldwide wearables market once again showed positive growth as shipments grew 10.3 percent year-on-year, reaching 26.3 million, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

The second quarter of 2017 marked a turning point in the market as wearables (those that do not run third party apps) declined for the first time with annual growth of -0.9 percent, IDC said. Meanwhile, smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Android Wear lineup grew 60.9 percent in the quarter thanks to fitness and fashion enthusiasts.

"The transition towards more intelligent and feature-filled wearables is in full swing," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "For years, rudimentary fitness trackers have acted as a gateway to smartwatches and now we're at a point where brands and consumers are graduating to a more sophisticated device.

“Previous niche features such as GPS and additional health tracking capabilities are quickly becoming staples of the modern smartwatch,” Ubrani continued. “Just a year ago only 24.5 percent of all wearables had embedded GPS while today that number has reached almost 41.7 percent.”

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the second quarter as the company's expertise in driving low-cost devices remains unmatched, said ICD. Though the Mi Band lineup was the most popular, Xiaomi also caters to the growing market of kids' devices and recently shipped its first pair of smart shoes under the Mijia brand. Shipments for the shoes were immaterial during the quarter though IDC anticipates this to gradually grow as Xiaomi gains traction in the clothing/apparel industry.

The second most successful wearables brand in Q2 was Apple thanks to its Series 1 and Series 2 smartwatches which are now mature products with the clear and concise purpose of fitness. This has boded well for Apple as the company has been slowly expanding its reach among health insurance providers. The release of the latest Watch OS later this year is also expected to bring much anticipated features like a Siri watch face to the wrist.

Fitbit, which took third place, finds itself in a period of transition, says IDC. Early leaks and the recent official announcement of the Fitbit Ionic will help cement the company's place in the growing smartwatch market. However, short-term growth remains challenged as the product portfolio is vast and undifferentiated.

"There is growing interest from the medical industry to adopt wearables and consumer expectations are also on the rise. This is where companies like Apple and Fitibit have the potential to maintain their lead as their investments in the tracking and perhaps diagnosing of diseases will be a clear differentiator from low-cost rivals,” said Ubrani.

In fourth place was Garmin which saw a decline of 6.6 percent from last year. IDC says this should not necessarily be seen as negative as the company has managed to grow revenue. Transitioning existing users from basic fitness trackers to more advanced smartwatches like the Fenix lineup has worked well for the company, IDC said. Recent developer outreach has also allowed Garmin's ConnectIQ platform to branch outside health and fitness.

US firm Fossil entered the top five for the first time and much of this is credited to the acquisition of Misfit in late 2015, said IDC. With a large distribution network of fashion stores and multiple brands Fossil managed to attract a previously unaware audience to the wearables market. While smartwatches from Michael Kors and Fossil took center stage, the company's hybrid watch lineup also gained traction.

"Market growth favored new and emerging products in the second quarter," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "Smartwatches recorded double-digit year-over-year growth, with much of that increase attributable to a growing number of models aimed at specific market segments, like the fashion-conscious and outdoor enthusiasts in addition to the technophile crowd, lower price points, and a slowly-warming reception from consumers and enterprise users alike.”

Llamas added, “Factor in how smartwatches are taking steps to become standalone devices, and more applications are becoming available, and the smartwatch slowly becomes a more suitable mass market product.”

Published in Gadget

Emerging markets: A gold mine for Chinese OEMs

Written on Sunday, 03 September 2017 13:00

Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo represent an uprising in the smartphone industry. Together, these Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) accounted for a record 48 percent of global device shipments in Q2 2017, according to Counterpoint Research. Emerging markets represent a gold mine for Chinese OEMs, as they continue to aggressively scale beyond their mainland.

The smartphone industry has been dominated for almost a decade by Apple and Samsung who hold the top two sales spots. But that could soon change as customers in emerging markets look to cheaper options supplied by Chinese OEMs. Huawei was the first Chinese smartphone manufacturer to go global and they spent significant investments to establish a presence across multiple markets. This provided momentum for other Chinese OEMs in the same league to consider the same.

“We are currently experiencing the rise of three emerging OEM players from China: Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. These three manufacturers are now considered global smartphone suppliers and they are competing head-to-head with the traditional players,” said Jay Srage, President East Europe and MEA at Qualcomm, in a recent interview with Telecom Review. 

An emerging smartphone brand like Xiaomi, with a brand that is going viral in emerging markets like India, Russia and Indonesia, is now emerging as one of the top global players in the smartphone industry because of its “unique vision of how to address the sector” Srage said. The OEM has a strategy to set a price/quality ratio that sets it apart, by emphasizing the importance of user experience, in addition to quality, at an affordable price.

The success of Chinese smartphone brands is their ability to be successful not only in cementing their positions in their home country, but also managing to expand beyond mainland China at the same time, explains Counterpoint Research Associate Director, Tarun Pathak. Emerging markets such as India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa will be the key focus geographies to drive additional scale and market share for Chinese OEMs, Pathak explains.  

Research Analyst, Shobhit Srivastava, noted, “The competitive landscape is now changing drastically across many regions. In developed markets the top three brands are strengthening their hold. In emerging markets meanwhile, rankings continue to be volatile, with new players also entering the top ten rankings within a few quarters of launch. This has led to various strategies by OEMs during the quarter to counter competition.”

Clamping down on competition, claims Srivastava, has resulted in ODM (original design manufacturer) tie-ups, operator tie-ups in prepaid markets, reducing excessive portfolios and even offering devices for free. Counterpoint Research expects “further innovation (and desperation) in go-to-market strategies by different OEMs struggle for traction in fast-growing market environments,” Srivastava said.

Breaking Apple and Samsung’s reign

Samsung still reigned supreme over the smartphone industry by a volume market share of 22 percent in Q2 2017, Counterpoint Research says, closely followed by Apple. But Samsung’s shipments remained almost flat quarter-on-quarter, the research indicates. Huawei, on the other hand, has steadily been catching up to its rivals.

Huawei retook the number two spot from Apple in Central and Eastern Europe in Q2 2017, according to Canalys research. The Chinese vendor shipped 1.8 million smartphones to take a 12 percent market share, beating Apple by fewer than 50,000 units. Its strength was in low-to-mid-range products, with the P10 Lite becoming its best-seller in the region. 

“Huawei slipped behind Apple briefly in Q1 2017,” said Canalys Analyst Ben Stanton. “Apple did an excellent job of up-selling its installed base to the iPhone 7 Plus, whereas Huawei suffered the fallout from its extremely aggressive end to 2016. It built a great deal of channel inventory last year as its sales teams chased a 140-million-unit annual global shipment target. But Huawei is back, growing 11 percent in Q2 2017. Its inventory has now largely cleared and it is firing on all cylinders.” 

Apple’s global smartphone market share declined due to seasonality this year, with iPhone sales growing just 1 percent year-on-year. But demand for older generation iPhones remains strong in markets like Russia, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and other fast growing markets. Many users are likely to delay their purchase of a new iPhone in anticipation of the much awaited iPhone 10th anniversary edition which is expected to be a super-cycle for Apple.

However, Apple’s decline in China has paved the way for Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Huawei to take the lead. In China, Huawei continued to capture the top spot in 2Q17 ahead of its rivals, shipping higher volumes into the channels, according to Counterpoint. Huawei’s Nova and Enjoy series, along with flagship P10, were in strong demand during the quarter, and its share in the premium segment also expanded due to the strong performance of its Mate and P series.

Meanwhile, Oppo and Vivo were the fourth and fifth largest brands during the quarter, capturing market share of 8.4 percent and 6.6 percent respectively. Both brands posted record quarters in India, their strongest market outside China. Xiaomi emerged as the fastest growing brand year-on-year (+60 percent) surpassing Vivo (+45 percent) and Oppo (+33 percent) which were the fastest growing brands in the previous quarter.

Emerging markets like Africa and the Middle East also represent a great opportunity for Huawei. Gene Jiao, president of Huawei consumer business group Middle East and Africa (MEA) emphasized the importance of the region for Huawei at the end of 2016 following the launch of the Mate 9. He said MEA is an important market for Huawei to tap into, because of its growing population.

“The MEA region has 67 countries, with a population of 1.62 billion. Within ten years the population will grow by 400 million. In the next five years it will grow by 200 million,” said Jiao. For this reason, Jiao added, it makes perfect sense to expand into MEA, particularly with affordable products.

The GCC is the most developed part of MEA, and traditionally OEMs have targeted the region with high-end and premium range devices, consolidating to only a few major players. However, the GCC is now seeing the rise of the mid-range device segment, according to Qualcomm’s Mr. Srage. The main growth driver for this segment, he said, has been the advent of high quality devices at affordable prices.

Huawei has the advantage over its Chinese rivals that it’s already a major player in the sale of networking gear and telecommunications equipment. Last year, the company's top consumer executive, Richard Yu, set a target of becoming the No. 1 smartphone vendor within five years. Huawei is “committed to helping operators increase efficiency and drive profitable growth by promoting the sustainable development of emerging markets,” Yu said at Mobile World Congress this year.

Other emerging Chinese OEMs such as Lenovo and Alcatel continue to face tough competition in high growth markets like India and Latin America which led to the flat or declining market share respectively, during the quarter, according to Counterpoint. However, Mr. Srage commented positively about the companies for their strategic efforts in acquiring and reviving once trusted brands. Lenovo, for instance, revived the Motorola brand, and TCL revived Alcatel.  

“These companies have taken existing brands that were once at the top and revived them with new products that aim to recapture their customer base,” said Srage. “The real challenge, however, is for these companies to capture the attention of customers who aren’t familiar with these once prominent brands, and reestablish loyalty with those who are.”

Published in Featured

Huawei overtakes Apple in Central and Eastern Europe

Written on Monday, 21 August 2017 08:52

Huawei retook the number two spot from Apple in Central and Eastern Europe in Q2 2017, according to Canalys research. It shipped 1.8 million smartphones to take a 12 percent market share, beating Apple by fewer than 50,000 units. Its strength was in low-to-mid-range products, with the P10 Lite becoming its best-seller in the region.

“Huawei slipped behind Apple briefly in Q1 2017,” said Canalys Analyst Ben Stanton. “Apple did an excellent job of up-selling its installed base to the iPhone 7 Plus, whereas Huawei suffered the fallout from its extremely aggressive end to 2016. It built a great deal of channel inventory last year as its sales teams chased a 140-million-unit annual global shipment target. But Huawei is back, growing 11 percent in Q2 2017. Its inventory has now largely cleared and it is firing on all cylinders.”

Samsung led the smartphone market in the region, shipping 4.9 million units, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent. This was due to strong demand for Galaxy A and J series products, Canalys research says, which have been updated this year. The Galaxy S8 has been a strong seller into carriers and retailers, but there are signs that some of these channel players have overestimated consumer demand for Samsung’s flagship model. 

The stand-out vendor in the quarter was Xiaomi, Canalys research shows, which rocketed to fourth place, despite only being active in the region for just over a year. It shipped 1.1 million devices into Central and Eastern Europe in Q2 to grab a 7 percent market share. It has found most success with its budget Redmi range, as markets in CEE remain extremely price-sensitive. Redmi’s 4A was its best-seller, with more than 350,000 units shipped in Q2.

“Xiaomi wants to replicate Huawei’s rapid rise,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling. “But they are very different companies. Huawei has used its networking business to muscle into carrier portfolios. But Xiaomi works differently, relying on a partnership with Polish distributor ABC Data, which has quickly scaled Xiaomi smartphones into Poland’s largest ecommerce platform, Allegro, and major retailers, such as Media Markt, Media Expert and Komputronik.”

To continue its global expansion, Coulling explained, Xiaomi must “avoid litigation by gaining permission to use the appropriate patents. With adequate protection in place, it must then recruit distribution partners that can help it establish the Xiaomi brand in an increasingly commoditized market.”

Published in Devices

Samsung regained the top sales spot in the USA in the three month period ending in May 2017, with market share rising to 36.2 percent, according to the latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. But this represents a fall of 1.1 percent over the past year, with Apple holding 34 percent share, up 4.7 percent from the previous year.

Kantar also revealed that iOS performance was strong in the USA, Australia and Japan, with Android making gains in the UK, Germany and France. In urban China, there was little year-on-year movement, with Android capturing 80.5 percent of smartphone sales, up one percent from the previous year.

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate smartphone sales, each with five models on the top 10 best-selling list, Kantar says. The Galaxy S8 launch helped Samsung regain the top position in the USA, but the bounce from the flagship launch was “less than would be expected from a full product redesign.”

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus occupy the top two spots, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 in third place, just ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in the number four spot. The launch of the LG G6 had minimal impact, with the G6 now in thirteenth position with a 1.3% share in the US, Kantar says.

In urban China, iOS share remained almost flat at 19.2 percent, down 0.4 percent year-over-year, though an improvement from 16.2 percent in the three months ending April 2017. Huawei remained the market leader as its share grew 2.9 percent to 28.3 percent. Xiaomi performance edged up after a challenging few months, with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X coming in as the fourth-best-selling device in the three months ending May 2017.

“Xiaomi managed to regain some momentum with the Note 4X launch, but the brand is making slow progress with its higher-tier devices,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “Xiaomi’s average selling price in the three months ending in May was 41 percent below the market ASP at ¥1523, and 33 percent below Huawei’s Honor Brand.”

In EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), Android accounted for 79.5 percent of smartphone sales in the three months ending May 2017, increasing 2.8 percentage points from a year earlier, driven by strong performance in the UK, Germany, and France. iOS share edged up across Germany, France, and Spain, though declines in the UK and Italy meant overall iOS EU5 share remained steady, up 0.2 percent year-on-year to 18.4 percent.

“Samsung performed well in France in the three months ending in May 2017,” Sunnebo noted. “The low- and mid-tier Galaxy J series and A series models enabled Samsung to compete more effectively with home-grown upstart Wiko and global challenger Huawei.

“However, the largest contributor to Android’s EU5 growth came from Huawei, which posted strong sales in all EU5 markets except Spain. Huawei continued to produce good sales volumes, but its flagship P10 struggled to make an impact in sales rankings, with share gains attributed to the older, more value-orientated P8 and P9 Lite models.”

Published in Devices
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