According to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) report, 107.5 million smartphones were shipped to China in 2014Q4, representing a 2% Quarter-on-Quarter growth. This culminates to 420.7 million smartphones being shipped to China in 2014. The market picked up in 2014Q4, where it saw Year-on-Year growth of 19% in 2014Q4. Apple's iPhone unit growth in China soared in 2014.
Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst with IDC Asia/Pacific's Client Devices team particularly noted that "Apple's launch of larger screen sized phones also helped to contribute to the increase in shipments."
While IDC expects the Year-over-Year growth for the smartphone market in China to hit a close to 10 percent in 2015, there is still area for further growth in the China market.
Apple had a jump to the second position in 2014Q4 as its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models were only launched in China in the last quarter of the year. Apple's Year-over-Year unit growth in Q4 2014 was + 99.7%. Apple's iPhone 6 sales boosted Apple's market share from 5% in Q3 to 12.3% in Q4.
Samsung dropped to the fifth position in 2014Q4 as it faced immense competition from Xiaomi and the other Chinese vendors in the low to mid-end segment of the market., Samsung Year-over-Year fell close to 50%, the worse performance of the top five smartphone vendors.
According to IDC, Xiaomi's focus on selling low-cost phones with decent specifications, as well as the hype that it created through its flash sales, helped it to obtain the top position in both 2014Q4 and 2014 overall. Its Year-over-Year growth was a staggering +150% even though they dropped from Q3 to Q4 by 0.9%.