By firstname.lastname@example.org (InfoseekChina)
(WCT) Although the smartphone market in China is experiencing a slowdown in sales growth, a number of enterprises are still rushing to join the already-crowded arena. The latest newcomers are Qihoo 360 Technology, a Chinese internet security company, and Coolpad Group, a major telecom equipment maker based in Shenzhen, with a joint venture between them set to launch a smartphone under the brand of “QiCool” on May 6, the Want Daily reports.
This comes on the heels of Gree smartphone released by Gree Electric Appliances, a leading Chinese maker of residential air conditioners, and Le Superphones rolled out by LeTV, a leading private Chinese entertainment company.
Gree’s chairman Dong Mingzhu recently said that Gree smartphones are already on sale in the market, but Beijing Business Today reported that Gree smartphones are still not available in retail outlets, and their prices remain to be announced.
In mid-April, LeTV debuted three Le Superphone models in mainland China, with their prices some 20%-30% lower than other high-end counterparts of the same specifications. LeTV has set the sales goal for Le Superphones at one million units for 2015, and 10 million units for 2016.
By contrast, Alibaba, China’s leading Internet company, and China Telecom Group jointly released a low-cost smartphone in late April, mainly appealing to users in rural areas and smaller cities for online shopping.
Against the fever in the launch of new low- or high-end smartphones by Chinese enterprises in different lines, the smartphone market in mainland China has experienced a significant slowdown in sales growth. Statistics released by GfK, Germany’s largest market research institute, showed that smartphone sales in China reached 99 million units in the first quarter this year, down 5.6% from a quarter earlier, with the top three vendors being Huawei, Apple, and Samsung, in terms of market share.
Samsung has lost its No.1 position in the mainland market for smartphones for two consecutive quarters. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhones have also started to slip in their share of the China market since peaking in November 2014. Huawei jumped to the No.1 place, for the first time ever, in March this year.
GfK tallies also indicated that Samsung saw its share of the mainland market for smartphones with price tags of 3,000-4,000 yuan (US$485-$645) plunge from a high of 50% in October 2014 to a low of 25% in March this year, compared to Huawei’s 33% and Apple’s 22%.
Huawei’s sales of its flagship model Mate 7 exceeded 4 million units in the first six months after its launch in mid-November 2014, setting a new sales record for Chinese-made high-end smartphones.
This has broken the “dual oligopoly” status long enjoyed by Apple and Samsung in the high-end smartphone market.
Source:: Qihoo 360, Coolpad Team Up to Launch New Smartphone