According to data released by IDC earlier this week, the Chinese smartphone market finished 2014 on a positive note. Smartphone shipments reached 107.5 million units between October and December, as the negative effects of a decrease in operator subsidies were offset by an increase in direct sales and the launch of Apple’s new iPhones.
Apple was among the big winners of the 2014 holiday quarter, as the company managed to sell twice as many phones in China as in the fourth quarter of 2013. Apple grew its market share from 7.4% to 12.3%, passing Huawei, Lenovo and Samsung in terms of unit shipments.
Xiaomi managed to claim the top position both in the fourth quarter and in all of 2014, as the company’s focus on selling competitive hardware at low prices continued to pay off. Xiaomi’s rise came largely at the expense of Samsung, which lost a significant chunk of the market as competition in the low-end heated up.