The latest smartphone market research from IDC reveals Huawei and Lenovo, two of China’s major mobile players, saw a bump in their market share over the past three months, while established leaders Apple and Samsung saw their slice decrease. It’s Samsung that will be smarting the most. IDC pegged the company at 32 percent market share this time last year, but only 25 percent this time around. Apple also stumbled, falling from 13 percent to 11.9 percent.
Huawei jumped from 4.3 percent to 6.9 percent over the same period, and while Lenovo didn’t perform quite so well, it still managed an increase to 5.4 percent from 4.7 percent. This has seen the two swap positions in IDC’s charts. Huawei now sits in third position ahead of Lenovo, and although Samsung and Apple lost ground, they still hold number one and number two in the charts, respectively. LG is the manufacturer in fifth position with 4.9 percent, down 0.1 percent over the past year.
A quick look at the smartphone shipment data also confirms Huawei’s improved performance, with the company sending out 20 million devices in the last three months, double what it managed in 2013. Lenovo also added another five million to its total over last year’s figures. Samsung fell by a few million, but Apple’s shipments were slightly up, despite the fall in market share.
IDC’s analysts put Lenovo and Huawei’s great performance down to several factors. The slowing interest in feature phones, primarily in developing markets, saw people flock to their low-cost smartphones, while 4G LTE’s growth in China and strong deals on the Ascend P7 also helped Huawei’s shipments. Lenovo’s push into international markets is going well, with 15 percent of its hardware registered outside of China this year, well up from the 5 percent in 2013.
We’re coming into an exciting season for mobile technology, when Samsung and Apple have a chance to regain any lost ground, thanks to the highly anticipated Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6. However, Huawei and Lenovo’s growth comes from markets and price points which neither major brands concentrate on, so we could see even further improvements from both next time around too.