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Chinese Android OEMs Gaining, Samsung Lead May Be Waning
The latest smartphone shipments (not sales) figures from IDC shows Chinese hardware OEMs making gains against market leader Samsung and Apple to a lesser degree. According to IDC, Q2 saw a new “single quarter record of 295.3 million [global smartphone] shipments.”
Huawei and Lenovo appear poised for further marketshare gains in the future.
Lenovo’s Motorola unit is rumored to be working on a Nexus “Phablet” with Google featuring a nearly 6-inch screen. Ironically, when it owned the company, Google wouldn’t have used Motorola to create a Nexus-branded device, given its commitment to keep the unit at arms length. Now that Lenovo owns Motorola we’ll probably see much more collaboration between Google and Motorola.
My theory is that part of Google’s motivation to sell Motorola to Lenovo was about creating a global counterweight to Samsung, which has dominated Android sales. More recently, however, Samsung device sales have slowed.
The legion of Chinese Android handset makers is set to further pressure Samsung at the low-end of Android. On the high end, Samsung will likely see intensifying competition from Apple when the larger-screen iPhone, or phones, debut.
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, July 28, 2014
Below is a look at global and North American mobile device (including tablets) traffic according to StatCounter. Android is the traffic leader globally, including in China and Europe. However it still trails Apple in North America.
In emerging markets a larger-screen iPhone will have little or no impact because of the cost of the device. However in Europe and North America it could have a significant impact. Screen and device size have been the chief differentiators between Android (mostly Samsung) devices and the Apple handset.