Oct 312014
 

We’ve looked previously at how Chinese manufacturers are moving up the value chain, proof of how PRC based companies are beginning to make their mark on markets are the latest smartphone IDC rankings.

Two Chinese companies, Lenovo and Xiaomi, entered the rankings with the latter recording a threefold increase on the previous year’s sales.

Remarkably, Xiaomi only had a few hours as number three in IDC’s global ranking as Lenovo closed its Motorola acquisition shortly after the release which pushed the combined company into third position.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q3 2014 Preliminary Data (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2014Q3 Shipment Volumes

2014Q3 Market Share

2013Q3 Shipment Volumes

2013Q3 Market Share

3Q14/3Q13 Change

1. Samsung

78.1

23.8%

85.0

32.5%

-8.2%

2. Apple

39.3

12.0%

33.8

12.9%

16.1%

3. Xiaomi

17.3

5.3%

5.6

2.1%

211.3%

4. Lenovo*

16.9

5.2%

12.3

4.7%

38.0%

4. LG*

16.8

5.1%

12.0

4.6%

39.8%

Others

159.2

48.6%

113.0

43.2%

40.8%

Total

327.6

100.0%

261.7

100.0%

25.2%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 29, 2014

The two companies illustrate the different strategies Chinese companies are making in taking on the world; while Lenovo is growing through acquiring ‘cast off’ operations like Motorola Mobility from Google and the various hardware arms of IBM, Xiaomi is growing through selling lower budget devices into East Asian markets.

Both approaches have their strengths and benefits and illustrate as much the diversity of the markets the two companies are chasing as much as the differing management philosophies of the business.

The other message from the respective successes  of Lenovo and Xiaomi is that Chinese companies, particularly manufacturers, are increasingly confident in competing in the global marketplace.

Just as Japanese manufacturers found their feet in the 1970s with many becoming global brands and market leaders, we are seeing the same thing happening with the Chinese businesses today.

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