Market Overview

Chinese Smartphone Market May See New Leader; Lenovo-Samsung Market Share Gap Less Than 1% in 3Q12


According to TrendForce, with component cost continually decreasing, many mobile phone makers are developing entry to mid-level smartphones in an effort to increase market share. Smartphone shipments are forecast to exceed 650M units in 2012, more than 40% growth compared to 460M units shipped in 2011.

Looking towards 2013, as 3G network infrastructure gradually becomes more widespread and mobile phone prices are dropping to market-friendly levels, TrendForce estimates global smartphone shipments will exceed 830M units in 2013, a nearly 30% increase. Worth noting, Chinese brands are expected to see especially strong smartphone shipments, with 50% growth projected for next year, more than the global average.

Traditionally, smartphones have sported price tags of at least 500 USD. However, as component cost has decreased, 100 USD smartphones emerged on the market in 2012, with Chinese smartphone brands and white-box manufacturers introducing the lowest-priced devices. TrendForce believes such low pricing is the main reason Chinese brands are able to show such strong growth against competition from major manufacturers. Chinese telecoms provide relatively low smartphone subsidies; most high-end devices carry a steep price tag even after signing a contract (prices fall in the 3000 to 5000 RMB range without a contract). The monthly cost of a contract plan is around 4.5 times that of a non-contract plan, which has pushed consumers with limited budgets towards the purchase of a non-contract device in the 800 to 1200 RMB range, creating a significant market opportunity for Chinese smartphone brands.

TrendForce estimates Chinese smartphone shipments will exceed 200M units in 2012, nearly 30% of the global shipment forecast. Of the Chinese brands, ZTE and Huawei's combined smartphone shipments will reach 65M units in 2012, accounting for 30% of total shipment volume for Chinese smartphone makers. As for Lenovo, the manufacturer has only been in the smartphone market since the second quarter of 2012. After only six months on the market, with a solid reputation and a clearly defined price strategy, Lenovo's third quarter smartphone shipment volume has surpassed that of ZTE and Huawei, making the newcomer China's leading smartphone brand. With 14.7% of the market, Lenovo is close behind Samsung, whose market share is currently at 15.5%.

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Jasmine Huang, +886-2-7702-6888, ext. 680
Mobile: +886-930-907-304

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