Chinese firms are emerging as strong players in the global smartphone market, with Huawei overtaking LG Electronics to claim the No. 3 spot in terms of global sales volume in the third quarter.
◆ Chinese Firms
Market researcher Strategy Analytics on Monday said Huawei sold 12.7 million smartphones around the world between July and September to edge ahead of LG's 12 million.
It reclaimed the No. 3 spot after taking the place with a share of 5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and then ceding it to LG the following quarter.
More than one in five smartphones sold around the world is made by Chinese firms. China's Lenovo shipped out 10.8 million units to take fifth place, followed by ZTE and Coolpad. The four account for a combined 19 percent of the global market.
One of the reasons for their strong performance is that technologies have been made available to latecomers as well. When smartphones first came out they were exclusive to only a few leading companies.
Another reason is that China has the world's biggest domestic market, where 315.5 million units were sold this year, which is more than the combined market size of India, Japan, Korea and the U.S.
◆ Apple and Samsung
But the global market is still dominated by Samsung Electronics and Apple, which account for a combined 48.6 percent.
Samsung began edging ahead in sales volume, posting record sales for the third straight quarter. It sold 69.4 million phones in the first quarter, 76 million in the second, and 88.4 million in the third.
But Apple ranks No. 1 in terms of operating profit, hitting the US$10 billion mark in the third quarter of this year again. Apple on Monday said it posted sales of $37.47 billion and an operating profit of $10.03 billion last quarter. Samsung's operating profit stood at $9.58 billion.
In the second quarter, Apple and Samsung accounted for a combined 97 percent share of the global mobile market in terms of operating profit.
Some market watchers say the two firms' future depends on the Chinese market. The biggest reason for Apple's recent upswing is its strong performance there.
When it launched a new iPhone in September, Apple for the first time included China among the first batch of countries to release the new gadget. Thanks to the strategic move, iPhone sales there grew from $4.6 billion in the second quarter to $5.7 billion in the third, making up 15 percent of Apple's overall sales from July to September.