Mon, Aug 27, 2012 - Page 14 News List

HTC ranked No. 9 in China

SMART COMPETITION:With smartphone sales overtaking feature phones in China for the first time earlier this year, firms are vying for market dominance

Staff writer, with CNA and Reuters

HTC Corp (宏達電) remains a smaller player in the booming Chinese smartphone market, where consumers continued to favor local vendors rather than international brands, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

In the first half of the year, China’s smartphone sales totaled 69.1 million units, with international brands jointly accounting for 46 percent of the market, IHS iSuppli said in a report issued on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics Co shipped 14.4 million smartphones to China during the first six months of the year, giving it a dominant 20.8 percent market share due to its successful approach in the country, which includes selling low-end phones at US$99.

The other global brands among the top 10 vendors include Nokia Oyj in fifth place (9.1 percent), iPhone maker Apple Inc in seventh place (7.5 percent), Google Inc’s unit Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc in eighth place (3.5 percent) and HTC in ninth place (3.2 percent).

Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and Coolpad (酷派) were the two largest local Chinese manufacturers in the first half, ranking second and third with 11 percent and 10.4 percent market share, respectively, according to IHS iSuppli.

The other large Chinese smartphone manufacturers were Huawei Technologies Co (華為) in fourth place with 9.8 percent market share, ZTE Corp (中興) in sixth place with 8.4 percent and Gionee Communication Equipment Co (金立) in 10th place with 1.6 percent, the research firm said.

Smartphone shipments in China overtook feature phones for the first time in the April to June period, according to research firm International Data Corp.

In the second quarter, Apple’s share of China’s smartphone market almost halved to 10 percent as buyers waited for the next iPhone model — expected later this year — or switched brands, with Lenovo knocking Apple from second place, IDC said on Friday.

“There are two factors at play,” said IDC analyst TZ Wong, referring to Apple’s drop in ranking and market share. “One is seasonal, people know the new phone is coming. And the second is that the alternatives are becoming much more attractive than a year ago. The iPhone didn’t change much over the year.”

Samsung retained its lead in the Chinese smartphone market with a share of 19 percent, and Apple slipped to fourth position, with ZTE in third and Huawei the fifth, IDC said.

Kevin Wang (王陽), director of China electronics research at IHS iSuppli, said Apple’s trailing other brands in China could also because that the US company does not offer a product that complies with the domestic TD-SCDMA air standard and that it does not have a low-end version of the iPhone that would appeal to price-conscious Chinese consumers.

IHS iSuppli estimated that 160 million smartphones are expected to ship to the Chinese market by the end of this year, up 141 percent from 67 million units last year.

Of the anticipated total for this year, approximately 28 million smartphones will use TD-SCDMA, according to the researcher. By 2016, China smartphone shipments will rise to 333 million, it added.

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