According to a newly-published report from our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service -- China Handset and Smartphone and OS Share : Q4 2014 -- Apple nudged up to become the second largest handset and smartphone vendor in China in the fourth quarter of 2014, for the first time ever. Strong demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, as well as an extended retail presence, and sizeable subsidies from three operators, are the main drivers behind the surging volumes, which doubled annually.
Xiaomi maintained its no.1 handset and smartphone position in China, for two quarters in a row. Xiaomi's rapid (but slowing) growth -- along with rising brands like Vivo and Oppo -- is harming established local rivals such as Lenovo, Coolpad and others. Samsung dipped to the no. 3 position, amid competition from Apple and Chinese brands. Lenovo plunged to fifth place this quarter and lost share annually and sequentially, while Huawei held fourth place -- driven by its Honor sub-brand and Ascend models across multiple price-tiers.
Our extensive report contains handset and smartphone shipments and marketshare by multiple vendors and operating systems by quarter in China from Q1 2009 to Q4 2014. A forecast by smartphone vendor for Q1 2015 is also included. The report is a valuable tool for stakeholders wishing to track the China market, the world's largest by volume and revenue.