There has been a huge elephant in the global smartphone room. While many look at the US mobile market as where the action is, the

China corners 27% of global smartphone market

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China on the globe

There has been a huge elephant in the global smartphone room. While many look at the US mobile market as where the action is, the truth is that the place to really watch lies thousands of kilometres away – China.

According to Canalys lastest reports, China alone now accounts for 27% of global smartphone shipments. And here’s the significant issue – the Chinese smartphone market is becoming driven more and more by local brands. Those brands include ZTE, Lenovo, Huawei and other lesser known brands.

Powered by own brands
Collectively, domestic Chinese vendors shipped 25.6 million units, while international brands put together (Samsung, Nokia, Apple, etc) shipped 16.7 million units. That is amazing.

Canalys says:

The rise of the domestic tier-one brands has been aided by a number of factors. Their reactiveness to market demands and deep understanding of local consumer behaviour and preferences have been key in helping them surpass international peers in the fast-evolving Chinese market.

You have got to give it to the Chinese: when they grab hold of something, they seem unlimited in what they can do with it. Dual-SIM phones. Tripple-SIM phones. Packed features and apps at rock-bottom prices.

Apparently, it is paying off for them not only in a market like Nigeria, but also their own home turf.

OS of Choice?
The major growth driver in China is Android which holds 81% of the smart phones shipped in Q2 2012.

How the mobile platforms stack up in that market?

  1. Android: 68.1%
  2. iOS: 16.4%
  3. BlackBerry: 5.4%
  4. Symbian: 4.1%
  5. Windows Phone: 3.2%
  6. Bada: 2.1%
  7. Others; 1.2%

International brands struggle to have a good chunk of the market, though so far, its not looking like it is working much.

Apparently, the fear of China is the beginning of wisdom.


  1. With a population of 1.3 billion (a sixth of global population) , unmatched manufacturing prowess and cheap electricity. Throw in a little local brand loyalty and you have a winner in your hands.

  2. With China’s population, I think those figures are rather underwhelming, but then, the figures could have failed to capture sales from lesser known brands like Tecno that hold sway in Nigeria.

    Who can possible give an estimate of the smartphone market that is close enough to the true figures here in Nigeria? Maybe the telecoms operators, but I think that will also be very wrong given the rate of switching SIMs between devices.

  3. China is the most popular nation on earth.

    one (or so) humani n every four humans is CHINESE.

    The rate of adoption of (mobile) tech in China is higher than most other places in the world.

    the average Chinese is fiercely loyal to his fatherland, and would patronize their own brand and goods, given a choice.

    putting these factors together leaves one unsurprised at this revelation.

  4. China is the most popular
    nation on earth.

    should read..

    .. China is the most populous
    nation on earth…

  5. I am happy with their adoption of their local brands. Wish we can do the same for ours.

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