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China’s Mobile Phone Industry in 2015

摘要: As far as I could see, the competition between different mobile phone manufacturers in China will get fiercer in 2015. MI Mobile Phone, especially, will get under attack on all sides.

(Chinese Version)

Editor’s Note:

As far as I could see, the competition between different mobile phone manufacturers in China will get fiercer in 2015. MI Mobile Phone, especially, will get under attack on all sides. Moreover, the main battleground will also shift from low-end to high-end market, where the price ranges from 2000 to 3000 RMB. At the same time, however, the competition is expected to grow more and more intense in the 1500 to 2000 RMB market, too.

Last night, WeChat Friends Circle released three piece of advertisement, among which one was from a mobile phone producer. In fact, the development strategy of mobile phone manufacturers is, more or less, already changing on a gradual basis. All manufactures attempt to best adapt to the mobile phone market in China and make a fortune.

A number of mobile phone manufacturers have already released their new phones since 2015. I’ll try to go beneath the surface in this article and provide as best as I could some insights into the mobile phone market in China.

 

MI: Shifting to High-end Market

MI Mobile Phone’s greatest change in 2015 lies in shifting its target market to middle and high-end consumers. Newly-released Xiaomi Note marks MI’s transition, though not a perfect one, from low-end market to middle and high-end market, where the price is higher than 2000 RMB and signifies its ambition to compete with Apple, and especially Samsung. MI Mobile Phone will have to compete with these giants one by one.

Quite interestingly, Huawei is the first to attack MI’s shift strategy. Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei Mobile Phones Consumer Business Sector, denounced the new model and questioned its battery life since it has too big a screen (5.7 inch) but only a 3000mAh battery. Lin Bin, founder and CEO of MI, responded that he could well understand Yu Chengdong’s mixed feelings and regarded his doubt as mere envy since in Lin Bin’s eyes Mi Note far outperformed Huawei’s Mate7. Mr. Yu and Lin’s quarrel soon caught media’s attention and won great publicity for both of their products.

Huawei: Targeting Overseas Market

When attending the 2015 Winter Davos forum, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, responded to a foreign media, saying that:

 “To be honest, Huawei is still no match for Apple on the whole. Although many users preferred Huawei’s appearance and quality, we are still left behind by Apple in photographing technologies and are still working on it to catch up with Apple this year. Moreover, while Apple provides a platform for millions of experts to develop their own products and apps, Huawei doesn’t have as much capacity.

“Fundamentally, Apple is a software company, not a hardware one, while Huawei is more a hardware company than a software one.”

In fact, overseas market remains Huawei’s main focus in 2015. Yu Chengdong’s doubt, to the contrary, has helped Huawei win much publicity. Their quarrel even continues to this day.

My prediction is that the competition between Huawei and MI will continue in 2015 and their market will also overlap as MI shifts its focus also to high-end market. Yet, Huawei’s focus remains in overseas market, while MI is basically only a domestic brand in China.

Dazen: Targeting Low End Market

Although Dazen just separated itself from Coolpad and entered into strategic cooperation with Zhou Hongwei’s Qihoo 360, its target consumers remain in low and middle-end population. For the moment, Dazen provided consumers three series of phone models to choose: F series, N series and X series. Recently, Dazen released its new model X7, whose target consumers are in the high-end population but whose price is only 1999 RMB. Affordability is undoubtedly the biggest advantage of Dazen.

My prediction is that Qihoo 360 will show its support to Dazen but it remains to be seen in what way will Qihoo show its influence on Dazen. At present, Coolpad F series rank high in purchase number on e-commerce websites and are quite popular among consumers, while X series are designed to compete with MI and Huawei’s mobile phones in the high-end market. Finally, I will be so excited to see Qihoo 360’s influence on Dazen.

Meizu: Competing with MI

Meizu’s boss is also known for his frankness and everybody knows that MI is Meizu’s sworn enemy. On one hand, MI’s sales performance soared; on the other, none of its rivals are convinced of MI’s success. Inevitably, quarrels ensue.

Meizu also provides users with two series of phones: one targeted for high-end market and the other for low and middle-end market. My prediction is that Meizu will both directly compete with MI and go abroad, which is only a matter of time, and compete with MI in overseas market.

Lenovo: The Return of MOTO

2015 will witness the return of MOTO to China’s high-end market. Lenovo aims to compete with Apple and Samsung with the renewed MOTO series.

However, it remains to be seen whether MOTO will regain Chinese consumers’ favor. If the first series of renewed MOTO products failed to win enough public and market approval, MOTO’s return to China will bump all the way, since China’s mobile phone market is no longer like before and is full of uncertainties. Even Samsung finds it hard to register a favorable sales performance in China’s mobile phone market, let alone other manufacturers.

Finally, as far as I can see, the competition between different mobile phone manufacturers in China will get fiercer in 2015. MI Mobile Phone, especially, will get under attack on all sides. Moreover, the main battleground will also shift from low-end to high-end market, where the price ranges from 2000 to 3000 RMB. At the same time, however, the competition is expected to grow more and more intense also in the 1500 to 2000 RMB market.

At the same time, as e-commerce is still on the rise, new mobile phones models will gradually be released and presold on e-commerce platforms and consumers’ personal opinions will be taken into consideration when developing new models.

 

(The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Xiaodaoma, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.)


Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at ECHO), working for TMTpost.

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