Chinese handset vendors are expected to account for over 50% of mobile handsets in 2015, according to ABI Research. Chinese vendors already accounted for 38% of mobile handset shipments in 2013, and the ongoing shift in growth to low-cost handsets, especially smartphones, will increase their market share.

Greater China has long dominated the mobile handset manufacturing supply chain, but now its OEMs are beginning to dominate sales at the expense of the traditional handset OEMs, including even Samsung. Many of the Chinese OEMs have focused almost exclusively on the huge Chinese market, with little activity beyond its borders, but this is set to change.

“Chinese vendors already take up five of the top 10 places in terms of worldwide market share, despite three of them only really shipping into China,” said Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices. “The Chinese vendors highlight the changing shape of the mobile handset market, as the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem, specifically reference designs, enable the next wave of smartphone growth in low-cost emerging markets and among price-conscious consumers everywhere.

“Southeast Asia has already experienced this trend, but ABI Research expects to see the impact of these Chinese vendors increasing in all emerging markets and even advanced markets, especially on prepay,” he said.

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