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By Bilal Hamdan

Technology moves at a pace that even the worlds experts struggle to keep up with. As soon as one company announces a new development, then another will announce something else. All of this research and development costs the companies a lot of money, and this means that the latest devices from the likes of Samsung and Apple are expensive. So it is no surprise to see Apple, Samsung lose ground to Chinese handset makers in Q1, which are available on the market at much cheaper prices.

According to the report, Samsung reported its first decline in sales since the late 2009. The lower end of the market is where the competition is really intense, and Chinese handset makers have gained traction there. Apple has lost a slice of its market share too, since it continues to be weak in developing markets because of the lack of low-priced offerings to its clientele.

However Apple seems to not like the idea of competing at the low-margin, low-end of market. Apple and Samsung have done around 47% of the total global smartphone market share in Q1 of 2014. This is a slight decrease from a market share 50% just a year ago. Even though it hardly shows a collapse, it is a good indication that Huawei and Lenovo will continue to make good gains in the future.

This means that there is not really that much difference between any top of the range models, and the latest Chinese models. They all run recent versions of Android, and have similar specs, although the hardware is not often the latest, as this helps to keep the prices low. Some of the Chinese handsets are probably manufactured in the same factories as some of the big names, the majority of Apple products are made in China.

So unlike a few years ago when Chinese mobile phones were inferior to the big brands, that is no longer the case. The mobiles may still be somewhat inferior to the latest branded models, but they are good enough for the general population of China.

When these big companies launch a new model then they need to recoup the research and development costs. So as things stand at the moment, the future looks very bright for the Chinese mobile phone market, and this is good news for the consumer.

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