ZDC recently released a brand awareness analysis report of China smartphone market in February, 2014. The number of competitive manufacturers in China smartphone market remained unchanged in February, but the number of mobile phones reduced by over 20 compared to last month. For new mobile device, although many manufacturers launched new devices in MWC 2014, these mobile devices have not come to the market yet. There were few new arrivals in the market, and Vivo X3S became the new focus.
In terms of brand awareness, Samsung was still running ahead with over 20% awareness, followed by Apple with 12.3%. In February, Huawei ranked No.3 with 8.5% awareness. There were large gaps among top 3 brands, while No.3 to No.5 had closer awareness. Nokia hold a 0.2 points lead over Coolpad.
In the top 15 list, four brands moved up while three fell down. Nokia and Coolpad rose one place to No.4 and No.5 respectively. Lenovo dropped from 4 to 6. HTC surpassed Sony Mobile in February, and Meizu swapped place with Vivo.
For product awareness, Apple iPhone 5S topped with 4.6% awareness. Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and Meizu MX3 followed, but not so closely. The top 15 devices were from Apple, Samsung, Meizu, Nokia, Huawei, Coolpad, HTC, LG, Lenovo and OPPO. Among them, Apple and Samsung both had three models on the list. For configuration parameters, 11 out of 15 were using Android OS; 11 models had screen size larger than 5 inch; 8 models had quad-core CPU.
In February, devices in the 1000-2000 Yuan (USD 162 to 324) price range won most awareness, rising 3.3 points to 30.8%. The awareness of devices below 1000 Yuan (USD 162) and above 4000 Yuan (USD 649) fell slightly compared to last month. In other price range, the awareness was about the same as last month.
For operating system, Android still definitely occupied the mainstream with 79.4% awareness. Compared to last moth, Android awareness fell slightly to below 80% again. Apple iOS had 12.3% awareness while Windows Phone had 7.3%, a little higher than January.
Quad-core products were most popular in February; the awareness fell 0.3% to 55.2%. The awareness of dual-core products also decreased slightly (1.1 points), but remained over 30%. Eight-core/two quad-core products were getting more attention, increasing 2 points to 10.7% awareness.
According to ZDC, 4.6-5 inch screen size was the mainstream in February, with 32.7% awareness. Smartphones with over 5 inch screen had 31.4% awareness, representing a possibility of surpassing 4.6-5.0 inch’s. View from the trend, the awareness of 4.6-5.0 inch screen size fell slightly while the 5.0 inch’s kept rising.
As front camera entered the era of 10 megapixel, consumers’ demand of main camera continually increased. In February, smartphones with 8/8.7 megapixel camera were still the focus, but the awareness decreased 1.5 points to 42%. In contrast, the awareness of above 10 megapixel camera kept increasing to 36.5%.
For battery capacity, devices with 2000-3000 mAh battery had the highest awareness, 49.5%, getting close to half. The awareness of above 3000 mAh battery also increased to 19.9%, almost reached 20%. At the same time the awareness of below 2000 mAh battery kept falling.
Case Study: HTC
According to ZDC, HTC ranked No.7 with 4.5% awareness, moving up one place with 0.3% growth. This was a good sign for declining HTC. Recently HTC launched new Desire 8 series which caught people’s eye. This might be a nice start in 2014 for HTC to turn things around.
HTC has 42 models on the market now. Among them, there are 16 smartphones in 1000-2000 Yuan (USD 162 to 324) price range; 10 smartphones were under 1000 Yuan. Only 5 devices were in 2001-3000 (USD 324 to 487) price range, however these 5 devices brought 45.5% awareness for HTC. ZDC suggested that HTC should focus on middle-end and high-end smartphones.
In short, new devices of smartphone giants haven’t come to market yet, so China smartphone market was quiet in February. Nevertheless, it might be the quiet before the dawn: the competition was predicted to intensify next month, and the awareness pattern will change again.