Apple Inc. has been being pushed to the third place in China by local players, said an independent analyst firm said Monday. In the 2Q, both Xiaomi and Huawei were able to outdo the US firm, which has been riding high on the back of its big-screen iPhones.
Apple pushed to third
Xiaomi, which is known for offering quality products at low prices, emerged as the biggest smartphone vendor in the world’s biggest market, in terms of shipment. The Chinese firm held 15.9% market share in the April-June period, found research firm Canalys.
At the number 2 spot was the telecom equipment maker Huawei with 15.7% of the market. Apple came in at number three, followed by Korean firm Samsung and another Chinese firm Vivo. The market share of these firms was not revealed by the research firm.
In July, Huawei said that its global smartphone shipments jumped 39% yoy in the first half owing to its focus on the mid- to high-end models. But the company claims it is different from Xiaomi, saying they and Xiaomi are serving different audiences in the Chinese market.
Experts believe that Huawei is targeting Samsung to position itself as the top Android vendor in China. To support its goal, the Chinese firm is actively making investment in the 5G technology.
For the first three months of 2015, Apple grabbed the top spot in the Canalys rankings. Wang Jingwen, an analyst at Canalys, said “Competition among major brands has never been so intense,” adding that now Xiaomi will be “under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come.”
The drop in ranking for Apple came despite great sales performance. For the latest quarter, Apple iPhone sales in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, jumped 85% with revenue rising by more than double to $13bn.
During the earnings call last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they are bullish on the region, and it “would be foolish to change our plans.”
Chinese firm getting bigger, better
The number from Canalys does highlight the rising clout of the Chinese firm on the global stage. The fact is further supported by this year’s Fortune Global 500 companies list with 98 Chinese firms making it to the coveted list versus 92 last year, and 34 seven years ago.
Three of the Chinese firms continue to be in the top ten, underscoring China’s rise as the second-biggest economy. A similar rise was noticed by Japanese firms, when the region became the second-largest economy in the 1980s, says Forbes.
Apart from getting bigger, Chinese firms are also getting smarter. In MIT’s 50 smartest companies list, Xiaomi moved to 2nd position versus 30th last year. Other Chinese firms in the list were Alibaba and Tencent.