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Once fighting for the low end, Chinese smartphone vendors focus on pricier products

Michael Kan | May 11, 2015
ZTE, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others are bringing higher-end devices in China.

In general, Chinese consumers have favored buying cheaper phones, but that doesn't mean they aren't willing to spend more. Apple's iPhone 6 has been a huge hit in the country, and the phones start at 5288 yuan. The product has done so well that Apple was China's leading smartphone vendor in this year's first quarter, according to Canalys.

Chinese vendors, such as Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi and Lenovo, all hope to one day outdo Apple. That's meant coming out with products that use the latest Qualcomm processors, are covered in glass or aluminum, and don't skimp on other high-end features. In addition, higher-end phones also generally draw in bigger profit than cheap low-end phones.

Overall, however, growth in the Chinese smartphone market has been slowing, mainly because the market is already saturated with products, said Xiaohan Tay, an analyst with research firm IDC.

Future growth will come from consumers wanting to replace their smartphones with new ones, and vendors will try to convert their existing users to higher-end devices, she added.

 

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