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The Booming Market for Chinese Smartphones

Posted In Smartphone reviews - By Techtiplib on Friday, July 25th, 2014 With No Comments »

While Samsung and Apple rule the smart phone and tablet markets in the West, there is a raging battle going on for the dominance of emerging markets. The ever growing demand for smart phones and modern technology in countries such as India, China and Brazil means that there is a whole new breed of smart phone companies who are taking a different approach to selling their products.

Chinese Smartphones

Enter Oppo, Xiaomi and Doogee to name just a few of the companies who are producing high-powered smart phones at a fraction of the price of the market leaders (in the US) Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone.

In China, domestic company Xiaomi recently surpassed Apple in market share. Their phones retail for around $200-$400, whereas Apple and Samsung smart phones start at $600. This difference in price is the primary reason for their success and they plan to use their pricing to their advantage as they move into Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Xiaomi’s newest smart phone is comparable on paper with Samsung and Apple’s offerings. It is available with 16-64 gigabytes of storage and boasts an impressive 2.3Ghz processor with a screen resembling the large high-resolution offerings of Samsung phones.

Unsurprisingly, these phones are making their way to the US market where they are expected to be huge success. Mostly available online, the phones are priced the same as they would be in China or India and come without an obligation to a provider. Online retailers like Merimobiles are giving US consumers the choice of buying Chinese smart phones over mainstream brands. And with free worldwide shipping, it is certainly a tempting offer.

Cheaper smart phones are certainly going to see an upward trend in the future as more and more companies offer products that compete directly with the Apple and Samsung offerings, but at a far lower price point. Phone giants, Nokia, who struggled with adapting to the smart phone revolution, have released their Lumia range, which is aimed squarely at emerging markets and is taking up competition with the leading Chinese brands, while also catering to Western markets.

In truth, most people do not want to spend up to $1000 on their smart phones and it is only because of Apple’s stylish design and excellent reliability that this price range in smart phones has become such a poplar choice. Of course, many people are unable to afford this or are unwilling to pay for a product that may only last a couple of years. Add to this, the trend of changing phones every year and the constant advances in technology make a two year old phone look old. More cost effective smart phones offered by Xiamo and Nokia begin to make a lot of sense keeping these factors in mind.

Chinese smart phone companies, Oppo and Oneplus are sister companies operating under BKK Technologies. This means that while they are able to release different products they share the same research and development, technology and information and benefit from the same advances. Oppo is currently ranked the second biggest smart phone retailer in China after market leaders Xiamo and their technology is said to be on par with Apple and Samsung. Peter Lau founder of Oneplus aims to provide everyone with access to “the best and latest technology”, and their phones are certainly up to the task.

The business model for these emerging companies is to forgo all profits made on hardware and instead concentrate on distribution and sales, while subsidizing the actual price of their phones. Whether this business model will prove successful remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that the smart phones being offered at a very low price are going to be incredibly popular with users.

If any doubt remains about the integrity of the hardware in these phones, one need only to look at the customer reviews to see how similar they are to their high-end counterparts. The processor in the Xiaomi and Oppo phones is identical to the one in the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S5 and reviewers insist that the build construction is solid and does not in any way give the impression of being cheap or flimsy. The cameras are now standard 13-megapixel, which are identical to what Samsung has to offer and the battery is high quality and can last all.

In conclusion, the products Xiaomo, Huaweii, Oppo and a myriad of other emerging companies have to offer are highly competitive with today’s high-end offerings.  At $200-$400 they are considerably cheaper and the fact that they come unlocked so that consumer can choose whatever provider they like is an added bonus. It will not be long before every other smart phone we see is a Chinese made budget phone, rather than one of Apple or Samsung’s high-end products. This could be especially true for children. Parents may be reluctant to buy their children expensive branded smartphones and may opt for a Chinese made one instead (which still providing all the necessary smart phone functionality).

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