Huawei fends off Chinese rivals to secure place as world's third-largest smartphone vendor

Huawei cemented its position as the world's third-largest smartphone vendor in 2015, registering 49 per cent growth in shipments year-on-year and breaking the 100 million unit mark for the first time, China-based market research company TrendForce said.

The Chinese vendor last week reported that it shipped 108 million smartphones during 2015. TrendForce said those shipments accounted for 8.4 per cent of a total 1.293 billion smartphones shipped during 2015, placing Huawei in third place behind Samsung (market share of 24.8 per cent) and Apple (17.5 per cent).

Huawei's 2015 shipments also made it China's largest vendor. TrendForce noted that the company replaced domestic rival Lenovo as the global number three, and also eclipsed Xiaomi after that company fell short of its predicted shipments for the year.

Xiaomi announced on Friday that it had shipped just over 70 million smartphones during 2015, some way short of its forecast 80 million to 100 million units, Reuters reported.

TrendForce placed the final figure at 72 million units and explained that Xiaomi had failed to make significant headway in non-domestic markets during 2015. The company cited the vendor's lack of intellectual property rights (IPRs) as a major barrier to its global success -- for example, several Xiaomi smartphones were banned in India due to its lack of IPR clout, the research company noted.

The research company also commented that Samsung endured a tough year in 2015, missing shipment targets for its Galaxy S6 and Note 5 devices and seeing its overall market share fall from 28 per cent in 2014. While Samsung retained its position as the world's largest smartphone vendor, TrendForce noted that the vendor faces competition from Apple in the high-end of the market, and increased challenges from Chinese vendors in the low- and mid-tier segments.

Indeed, Avril Wu, smartphone analyst at the research company, predicted that Chinese vendors would increase their combined share of smartphone shipments from just over 40 per cent in 2015 to around 45 per cent in 2016 and that China's vendors' shipments will exceed the combined figure for Samsung and Apple. "This means that nearly one out of two smartphones sold by the top ten vendors this year will come from a Chinese brand," Wu said.

For more:
- see this TrendForce announcement
- read this Reuters article
- view this Huawei announcement

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