Samsung's attempt to turn things around and boost its smartphone sales isn't getting much help from the Chinese market. Instead, Samsung has slipped to fifth place among China's top smartphone players, taking up the last spot before the catchall "Others" category, according to latest data compiled by International Data Corporation.
The fall to fifth place was the result of "immense competition," particularly from Xiaomi and the other Chinese vendors in the low to mid-range segment of the market, IDC said. As a result, Samsung shipped 49.9 percent fewer smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2014 in China compared to the same quarter a year ago, leaving the South Korean Handset maker with a 7.9 percent share of the market.
The remaining players all saw a growth in shipments, and when the dust settled, Xiaomi was on top with a 13.7 percent share of the market, followed by Apple in second place with a 12.3 percent share and Huawei in third place with an 11 percent share.
"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," IDC said.
All combined, smartphone vendors shipped 107.5 million handsets to China in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 2 percent sequentially. That brings the full-year total to 420.7 million units.