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China's Coolpad predicts 40 MEEELLION 4G sales in 2014

Smartphone upstart bids to topple Samsung in Middle Kingdom

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Little-known Chinese smartphone maker Yulong has set its sights on global leader Samsung with the bold claim it will ship 40 million 4G handsets domestically this year under the Coolpad brand.

The firm hopes to sell a further 20 million 3G smartphones in the Middle Kingdom in 2014, according to a microblog post seen by Reuters.

The combined figure of 60 million will double last year’s tally for Yulong and parent company China Wireless.

China has only just switched on its 4G network in a limited number of areas but with such a vast market to tap the leading handset players are already jostling for position.

Yulong will certainly be helped by the fact that it has already struck a deal with the world’s largest operator China Mobile to sell its budget Coolpad 8920 LTE handset in the PRC, and it has several more 4G models on the way.

However, local media reports (via TechInAsia) that the firm is claiming it will outstrip Samsung 4G sales in China this year are more down to a combination of marketing hype and wishful thinking.

For one thing, El Reg was told by a Samsung spokesperson that the firm currently has no predictions for 2014 shipments in China.

For the record, as of Q3 2013, Samsung led the Chinese smartphone market with 18.3 million devices shipped (19.3 per cent), followed by Lenovo with 11.2m (11.8 per cent) and Yulong with 11.1m (11.7 per cent), according to IDC.

AVP of client devices at the analyst, Bryan Ma, told The Reg that the speed with which Yulong can get TD-LTE handsets to market and pricing relative to Samsung smartphones would be key in its bid to topple the market leader.

“We’ll see a lot of dark horses [like Coolpad] in 2014 – local vendors with overseas ambition like Xiaomi or Micromax in India,” he added.

“It’ll be interesting to see how they push beyond the boundaries of their home markets and how successful they are.” ®

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