Lenovo tops China's smartphone market in just six months
Huawei and ZTE left for dead, now to swamp Samsung
Despite launching its first smartphone in the second quarter of 2012, Lenovo is already the top Chinese smartphone company, according to analyst outfit TrendForce.
Lenovo has captured 14.7 per cent of China's smartphone market, leapfrogging past rivals ZTE and Huawei, both of which have been in the market far longer.
Samsung seems next in the company's sights: TrendForce says the Korean company has 15.5 per cent of China's smartphone market.
The prize on offer is colossal: TrendForce says Chinese buyers will acquire 294 million smartphones in 2013. They won't all be particularly smart, the analyst notes, as Chinese carriers don't subsidise handset purchases to the same extent as their western equivalents. Chinese consumers also have lower disposable incomes than those in other nations, which means their smartphone purchases tend to be lower-end devices costing 800 to 1200 Renminbi ($US130-$US180).
Western smartphone makers have struggled to deliver a product at that price, but ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo – plus lower-profile brands like Ningbo Bird – can do so comfortably in their home nation. That ability, TrendForce believes, will see Chinese brands together tot up 200 million smartphone sales in 2012, or about the same as Samsung. Apple is expected to sell about 120 million iPhones in 2012.
<TrendForce does not say how many smartphones Lenovo has sold, but says ZTE and Huawei will together move 65 million in 2012. Lenovo started late, so some back of the envelope maths suggests it must be shipping close to 10 million a month already.
Whatever the actual number, it's a stunning result given the company's late entry to the market. Coming on top of its dethroning of HP as the world's top PC-maker, that makes 2012 a very good year for Lenovo. ®
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