The Chinese and Taiwanese brands are taking over the smart phone scene in 2015

Posted:  February 16, 2015   By:    12 comments   


According to a report by IDC, an industry analyst company, big-time smartphone vendors like Apple and Samsung are going to find it more difficult to compete in the premium smartphone segment this year due to the sea of Chinese and Taiwanese vendors with offerings of cheaper and just as capable smartphones.

According to Daniel Pang, Asean senior research manager of the client devices and mobility division of IDC Market Research (M) Sdn Bhd, while many Malaysians would still prefer owning a premium flagship smartphone, the economical pinch are causing many consumers to feel that they just aren’t getting enough out of their investment.’

IDC’s Asia Pacific Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Chinese and Taiwanese vendors held a whopping 46% market share of the Malaysian smartphone market in the first three quarters of 2014 as opposed to 19% in the entirety of 2013, and we believe that the percentage will continue to rise as the year progresses.

The main reason this is happening is that over the last two years Chinese and Taiwanese vendors have been steadily producing high specification smartphones at a fraction of the cost for similar phones being sold by bigger companies. An example of this would be the Huawei Honor 6 which are sold for RM 999 which is nearly half the price of similarly specced devices.

However, a price war of this scale on the budget tier of smartphones is unlikely as the profit margin in that segment is already very low. But this still puts large vendors like HTC, Sony and even Apple a bit of a twist as brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus continue to grow with their unique selling practices and clever marketing techniques. Maybe it’s time for the big boys to learn some tricks from the little guys?

Granted the Chinese brands are getting better in terms of hardware but they still aren’t on par with the big brands in terms of the software experience, either due to issues with their OS or unimaginative UI that’s more a hindrance than a help. For those who can spring the cash, they will still continue to support the mainstream brands mainly on part of general reliability, familiarity as well as more steady software updates.

Nothing the brands can’t fix if they decide to pump more resources into make their software better instead of just reskinning the latest version of Android.


Industry in General
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Wanna say something?


12 Comments for The Chinese and Taiwanese brands are taking over the smart phone scene in 2015


Samsung is the one most affected by the rise of China brands. Only high end Samsungs like Galaxy S5 and Note 3/4 are selling nowadays. Low and mid range Samsungs are just horrible when compared to Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE or Asus. They are 2-3 times the price for similar specs. Personally I bought a few Huawei and Xiaomi for my family and friends and they all work without a glitch. As for the UI I don't think they are behind. Huawei and Xiaomi UI don't have separate app screens which is less confusing to newbies. Huawei's KitKat os allows almost everything to be placed on the sd card like apps, messages and data which my Sony Z2 can't even do.


    Agree with you Kccheh. Furthermore on the UI front android is so customizable, just install your fav launcher to change the way the phone works. My last 3 devices are all China/Taiwan made, a oneplus one, asus fonepad and xiaomi mipad. No complains from me and my family so far on the UI and even better, at half the price of the big boys.


      Lol I agree too. My current gadget lineups are all from Xiaomi. Xiaomi and OPO are more outstanding than the rest because they give opportunity for people like me to own a high-end phone at a cheap price


    And yet Apple continues to defy gravity while the Android manufacturer's priced themselves to oblivion. Anyway the customer's win.


The paragraph towards the end of the above article which ends by putting down on the supposedly inferior UI of Chinese & Taiwanese brands is just poor BS.

I don't know which UI he is refering to, but what kind of "issues" or "hindrance" is he talking about? Compared to what? The universally panned bloatfest of Samsung's TouchWiz? The extremely closed off and restrictive iOS?

If someone prefers to pay more, sometimes double, for the same functions… be my guest.


    If I had lots of money to spent, I will spend it on Apple. Else I will end up with China / Taiwan brand.

    For half the price, I get a similar experience, not bad. For the other half, can buy a new phone next year. The next year phone sure will be better than nowadays tops phone from either Apple / Samsung. What else I should complaint?


      Yes, agree wholeheartedly!

      It doesn't matter how "premium" a phone is. It'll be outdated by next year.

      Now, the only premium phone that is unique enough to warrant its price might be the Samsung Galaxy Note series. So far, no one else has produced a phone with a similar digital stylus. Yes, I'm a sucker for styluses.


Buying a high end brand like Samsung doesn't guarantee trouble free use. I have two friends with problematic S5s with overheating, freezing and rebooting issues which are very hard to solve. Send back and forth to service centre also no use. Samsung doesn't have a 1-to-1 replacement policy unlike Huwei. On the other hand I'm in touch with 2 Xiaomi and 4 Huawei users and all of them are satisfied with their phones.


    Well, that's bad luck then. I've own 2 Samsungs, Note 3 and currently Note 4. And guess what, no problem at all lol~


It's thine to say goodbye to Samsung. Bye, Samsung.


I disagree with IDC’s analysis. They’ve gotten it wrong many times before on their data. Samsung will find it increasingly tough in the premium smartphone market but not Apple. This has already been proven in the result last quarter where Apple outsold Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi in China. There have so many articles citing the difficulty Apple will face because of lower priced competitors but everytime Apple sells more. The geek crowd will always undoubtedly crow about specs and price, but the broader market speaks clearly and they are willing to pay for the iPhone even if they do cost more.


At the moment for me it's still only Oppo and OnePlus in contention because only these 2 Chinese brands exhibit the willingness for openness and has the established custom ROMs' support from the likes of Cyanogenmod and Paranoid Android >>>

1. Better value for money when you have options to move away from the shipped ROM.

2. Lesser risk of questionable background services when you can flash another ROM to completely clean that up.

3. Longer assurance for updates as long as said custom ROMs' support is available down the road.

The rest while quite aggressive in their device specs:RRP proposition, still present their closed source policy on top of not so timely track record for Android ver firmware and software updates. And if you're unlucky your phone might just get dropped altogether.

Primary concern here is that most Chinese/Taiwan OEMs' insistence on using MediaTek and/or the back and forth catch 22 situation where they keep passing the blame between SoC maker and OEM on whose in charge on kernel source policy. Not even some Snapdragon inside phones are spared in this debacle too. They have to improve on this via 2 ways; 1. Win back user confidence and communicate better on future OS + apps' plan and 2. obviously don't just communicate but hire better devs and start to work faster a'la Motorola look at how their handling their much lower specced Moto E and G so well.