Apple and Samsung are getting a huge shove from little-known smartphone brands from China, such as OPPO and TCL.
Several Chinese brands have already surpassed Samsung’s sales. Considering the high sales of Tecno, Huawei and Lenovo, Apple is now the next target. Budget-conscious consumers in Europe and the United States are now looking for cheap Smartphones with not-so-cheap features.
Over the years, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have made it apparent that they want to dominate the global Android market, by giving high-end phones at low costs. “Customers are now getting phones that have the same features as Samsung or iPhone, but at a lower price,” says Shu On Kwok, an editor at the AndroidPIT.
In 2015, iPhone saw their first revenue decline in 13 years and they have tried to maintain their position by offering features, apps and services that are unique to Apple products. Chinese manufacturers have countered by offering similar services on the Android OS in their phones.
Samsung also saw its first market decline in 2015 and has tried to maintain its position by offering high-end accessories to go with their new phones. The Samsung Virtual-Reality Headset and the 360-degree camera have only appealed to gamers and techies, but not your usual mobile phone user.
The boohoo for smartphone manufacturers has turned to hurray for consumers
The cost of an iPhone or Samsung handset could buy two or three Chinese phone brands having similar features. They manage this by using cheaper components and reducing profit margins, relying on the resultant high sales volume to cover for the reduced margins. Their phones boast of having slick, thin designs, a feature that resonates well with most consumers. However, over the last few years, their tech innovations have had a marginal effect on consumers, who see it as being similar to that found in past models.
After getting a foothold on the global smartphone market, Chinese brands are now getting satisfied customers to pay a little more for newer phones, but still below the prices offered for the latest Samsung and iPhone models. They have largely been focused on emerging markets, but are starting to give Samsung and iPhone stiff competition in Europe and their main market, which is the USA. Analysts have forecast that these low-cost brands will Snatch customers from Apple and Samsung in their market strongholds as people look to upgrade their phones without the added financial pressure.