Chinese smartphones strengthen foothold in Q2 top 10

Shipments of China-branded smartphones Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad, increased 44 percent compared to last year, with most sales coming from emerging markets.

Chinese-branded smartphones, led by Huawei, have made headway in the global smartphone shipments due to their strong brand image and channel support, despite Samsung and Apple's dominance.

According to TrendForce data released Tuesday, smartphone shipments for Q2 2013 hit 221 million units, an increase of 6.6 percent from the previous quarter, and a 31.4 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

It was also found the shipment of Chinese-branded smartphones--Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad--had increased 44 percent compared to the same quarter last year 2012, and also made it to the top ten in terms of global smartphone shipments.

Among Chinese vendors, Huawei had retaken the market lead from Lenovo, shipping a total of 14 million smartphone units, with 30 percent of those devices directed at emerging markets including India , Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.  

Both Lenovo and Coolpad were also able to ship more than 10 million smartphone units, more than what some global manufacturers were able to accomplish, due to their strong brand image and local channel support.

Global smartphone shipments in Q1 2013 and Q2 2013 (Source: TrendForce)

"Having made it to the global top ten, the potential of China's top four smartphone brands—Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Coolpad--should not be taken lightly," Trendforce observed.


Samsung maintains leadership due to mid-tier smartphone success

Samsung's phone shipments continued to dominate and hit about 71 million units in the second quarter this year, a record high for the company. This is largely due to its shipment and sales performance in the mid-end sector.


Samsung's channel and brand marketing campaign efforts have so far paid off especially well in rapidly emerging markets such as China , where the South Korean electronics giant is a widely recognized global smartphone brand, TrendForce noted. 

Its latest Galaxy S4 however, ended up falling short of expectations, but the research firm said South Korean giant had shipped 23 million Galaxy S4 handsets.

"Even if Samsung is unable to meet expectations with its newest flagship device, the growing sales of its mid-entry level handsets could still help it maintain a dominant position within the global smartphone stage," TrendForce said.

In comparison, Apple managed to ship only 22 million iPhone 5 units this quarter. Even though its entire iPhone line, ended at 27 million units, it was a 30 percent decrease quarter-on-quarter, while the company's worldwide market share fell to 12.1 percent.

If the release of new Apple smartphones are delayed in the next quarter, Apple's second quarter sales performances are in danger of worsening, TrendForce said.