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China’s Huawei, Lenovo lead smartphone growth to record quarter

Customers passing near a Huawei advert/FILE

Customers passing near a Huawei advert/FILE

Huawei Technologies Co., China’s biggest maker of smartphones, almost doubled shipments in the second quarter as demand from emerging markets boosted industry volumes to a record 295 million units.

Samsung Electronics Co. retained the top spot globally, while posting lower shipments and shrinking market share, as Apple Inc. held second place, Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC said in a statement yesterday. Huawei and Lenovo Group Ltd. were the only top-five vendors to gain market share, according the statement.

Consumers upgrading to smartphones from feature phones are combining with the release of cheaper devices to drive a 23 percent increase in industry shipments during the quarter. Chinese vendors are winning customers with improved quality and better value, according to IDC.

“As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones,” IDC said in the statement. “We have more than a dozen vendors that are capable of landing in the top five next quarter. A handful of these companies are currently operating in a single country.”

Huawei’s shipments climbed 95 percent from a year earlier to 20.3 million units, and the company held third place with 6.9 percent of the global market, IDC said. Lenovo was in fourth place with 5.4 percent, followed by LG Electronics Inc. with 4.9 percent of shipments.

Samsung shipments fell 3.9 percent to 74.3 million units and its market share dropped 7 percentage points to 25.2 percent. While Apple’s shipments rose 12.4 percent, its share of the market fell to 11.9 percent from 13 percent, IDC said. Companies outside the top five include Coolpad Group Ltd., HTC Corp., Motorola Mobility, Microsoft Corp.’s Nokia and Xiaomi Corp., IDC said in a separate e-mail without providing the rank or shipment details for those vendors.

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