Here in the U.S., so much attention surrounds the rivalry between Apple and Samsung that sometimes it’s easy to forget there are other smartphone manufacturers. Not too long ago, HTC and LG drew quite the attention with their devices, but have since been eclipsed by the shadow of “third place.” Windows phone and Blackberry have been hammered and battered to the point where, for them, the goal is survival and simply staying in the game.
While this dramedy continues to unfold domestically, overseas players in China have been growing and gaining momentum in the smartphone and handset arena. The companies ZTE, ranked 5th globally, and Huawei, ranked 6th globally, are expected to account for over 50% of mobile handsets worldwide by 2015. Soon enough, Apple and Samsung are likely to have more on their hands than just each other.
In 2013, Chinese vendors accounted for 38% of mobile handsets globally. While these companies have mostly focused on the Chinese market, this is sure to change. ZTE has recently announced its new flagship smartphone, the Grand Memo II LTE, as well as the latest Firefox OS model.
Huawei showcased it’s lineup at CES 2014, proving that it has the chops to go toe-to-toe with quality and innovation. U.S. customers may not be ready to take the plunge just yet.
It’s taken persistence for these Chinese companies to create an impression outside of the Asian markets. Much of the focus has been on low-cost and budget handsets for the price-conscious consumers. But from the looks of it, Huawei and ZTE are moving forward with premium smartphones too. It’s only a matter of time before the smartphone handset wars in the U.S. gets even more interesting.