The Apple Samsung duopoly is nearly everywhere worldwide, with both companies trading off their world domination in different countries. Apple was once dominating in the US (no surprise there), but Samsung recently overtook Apple in the country in market share with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge sales. Samsung was once the top smartphone maker in Europe, but Apple has grown to overtake Samsung there. The same can be said for other countries, too, as Samsung and Apple are always trading off wins in most regions worldwide.
And then, there’s China.
China seems to be an interesting place, one that has become a strategic place for the Apple-Samsung duopoly to make its impact once more. Apple decided to take the iPhone brand global with its agreement with China Mobile, and Samsung has had its global partnerships for the last few years, including its carrier agreements with US carriers.
According to the latest results from firm Canalys, China is still Chinese country, and Chinese consumers are still heavily supporting their own countrymen.
Huawei and Xiaomi have been two Chinese vendors in the top worldwide for their smartphone sales, and Huawei just recently overtook Microsoft in Q2 2015 to become the third largest manufacturer in the world in smartphone sales. Huawei’s smartphone shipments grew by 48% in Q2, and the company has narrowed the distance between itself and Apple globally. The Chinese vendor earned a 15.7% market share in Q2, but it wasn’t enough to top Xiaomi.
Xiaomi, however, has made an impressive comeback. The company earned 15.9% market share in Q2, rising above Huawei though leaving a much smaller distance for Huawei to travel to top Xiaomi in Q3. According to Canalys, 1 in every 3 smartphones were a Huawei or Xiaomi purchase – a very impressive feat indeed for native vendors who don’t want to see the Apple Samsung duopoly knock them from their places of respect in their native country.
As for Apple and Samsung, the rival pair has decided to attack China as yet another place for their rivalry. Apple and Samsung have both increased their sales activities in the China market, expanding rapidly in channel coverage through flagship stores and small to medium size phone retailers respectively. Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come, said Canalys analyst Jingwen Wang.
Huawei’s 48% rise should give Xiaomi something to fear, as the company is headed for 100 million smartphones by year’s end. At the same time, however, Huawei’s partnership with Google to launch a Huawei Nexus in Q4 should give Apple an even bigger reason to worry about Chinese and global sales. Worldwide, Samsung sold 89 million smartphones in Q2, with Apple selling 47.5 million and Huawei at 30.6 million.