Smartphone shipments surge: Do we really need 200 brands?

According to IDC, there are 200 different smartphone brands chasing Apple and Samsung. While a trio of Chinese vendors made the noise, there are too many brands chasing fatigued buyers.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Chinese smartphone manufacturers Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo rounded out the top 5 device makers in IDC's second quarter tally of units indicating a wave of cheap handsets is chasing Apple and Samsung.

According to IDC, 337.2 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter, up 11.6 percent from a year ago. That shipment total is the second highest one on record for a quarter.

Perhaps what's more notable is that IDC said there are more than 200 million different smartphone brands globally. Most of these brands are focused on entry-level and mid-market smartphones.

Also: Smartphone buyers bored: A look at how Samsung interest waned

The big question here is what technology company will move up the food chain to threaten Apple and Samsung given the smartphone fatigue in developing markets. Samsung saw its shipment volume fall from a year ago and Apple benefited from its larger iPhone.

However, the real mover was Huawei with 48 percent growth in the second quarter from a year ago with its P8, Honor Series and Mate 7 selling well. Xiaomi and Lenovo, beefed up via the acquisition of Motorola, rounded out the pack.

It's likely that the standings over time will surface entirely new players. After all, "others" has a commanding 47 percent share of the market.

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