Is there any doubt in your head about where the current top smartphone brands in the country will end up next year? Since they were able to topple bigger brands that came before them so quickly, is it possible that they might suffer the exact same fate as their local rivals? According to a report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes, that is highly unlikely. In fact, Chinese brands in particular such as OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, are looking fit to dominate the smartphone market throughout 2018.
The report focuses on China specifically, but what it describes could very well apply to the market at large. It says that the Chinese smartphone market will “become more concentrated” next year, with major brands continuing to dominate, based on information from industry sources. It is said that there will be a bigger push from Chinese brands like Huawei to pull away further from local competitors, as well as to put more pressure on international brands like Samsung.
By the end of 2018, it is expected that the top 10 smartphone brands in the world will include seven brands from China, while Apple, Samsung, and LG comprise the remaining three. Other brands like Asus and Acer will likely continue to shine in their local Taiwan market, but HTC is predicted to drop to 20th after its decision to sell its ODM division to Google earlier this year.
OPPO and Vivo’s combo
Although they are two separate companies, both OPPO and Vivo employed fairly similar approaches to the local smartphone market. Apart from selling mildly impressive and highly affordable handsets like the OPPO F5 and Vivo V7+, both brands utilized robust marketing campaigns that encompassed all media. As such, they were able to leapfrog all their competitors in a span of less than three years, and now they have comfortably settled into the list of the country’s top five smartphone brands.
Meanwhile, bigger international brands such as Samsung and LG can only watch as apparent newcomers ended up stealing the top spots from them even though they’ve been working on the local market for many years prior. Basically the same thing happened to local brands, as they slowly got pushed to the wayside in the eyes of consumers who were looking for newer smartphone picks.
The future for local brands
To be fair to local brands, those who have survived the last two or three years have managed to come up with and stick to product and marketing plans of their own. For top local brand Cherry Mobile, it appears that sticking to what made them popular in the first place — taking the most popular and most important features from internal offerings and making them affordable — is still working. Its Cherry Mobile Flare S6 series of phones are among the best that you can find in their entry-level price category.
Meanwhile, other brands such as MyPhone and Cloudfone have decided to focus on things other than smartphone hardware to boost their sales. Cloudfone in particular sought to strengthen its brand through brand partnerships with the likes of Disney and Marvel, and that’s tied directly to sales especially when those brands begin to trend from time to time. As for MyPhone’s software-focused approach, only time will tell whether or not they achieve any success.
In any case, the fact that there’s still this many brands competing — from China, other countries, and local firms — can only be good for you, the consumer. So by all means, let them keep competing. And remember to vote with your wallet. We’ll see who wins in 2018.