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Samsung Dominates China, but Apple Carves Out Lucrative Spot

In the following video, senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker looks at recent data out of the booming Chinese smartphone market.

China's smartphone market is now the largest in the world. DigiTimes Research pegged the country as accounting for 189 million of the more than 700 million smartphones shipped last year. That's an astounding figure, considering estimates of smartphone sales were at just 30 million in 2010. Essentially, China has seen the kind of growth the U.S. has seen in smartphones, but instead of growth over five years, it has condensed it into a two-year time frame. 

In today's video, Eric looks at recent data from Strategy Analytics which shows Samsung as the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the country with a 17.7% market share. Following Samsung is Lenovo with 13.2%, Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) with 11%, and Huawei and Coolpad with just south of a 10% share. 

Eric notes that while the American smartphone market is heavily tilted toward Samsung and Apple, the Chinese smartphone market share breakdown looks similar to the global PC market. That is, no manufacturer exerts outsized influence. For example, in 2012 Hewlett-Packard had the highest PC market share, with about 16% of the total market. 

In past market-share studies, Apple had slipped out of the top five smartphone vendors, so its 11% market share in Strategy Analytics' most recent study is quite impressive. The company excels in urban areas where its market share is reported at over 20%. However, future Chinese smartphone growth is more focused on rural areas, which could challenge Apple's overall market share, barring a more entry-level phone. 

In the end, Eric says the amount of competitive Android Chinese smartphones from smaller vendors priced in the sub-$150 range means the market won't be dominated by any one large player. Instead, China's smartphone market will probably continue looking like America's PC market. To see his full thoughts, watch the video.

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