Shenzhen-based budget smartphone maker Coolpad (HKG:2369) says it aims to sell more 4G handsets in China than Samsung (KRX:005935) in 2014, according to Tech 163. That’s a big claim for a company that sold less than half as many phones as Samsung in China last year.
But with China’s big 4G turn-on in progress, 4G smartphones will be a fresh battleground for domestic brands to fight back against Samsung’s dominance. The South Korean smartphone maker is currently the market leader with 21 percent of the Chinese market as of Q3 2013, according to Canalys. Coolpad was the third best-selling smartphone brand in China as of Q3 2013, following Lenovo (HKG:0992). To achieve its goal, Coolpad set a target of 60 million smartphone shipments in total for 2014: 40 million 4G phones and 20 million 3G.
Coolpad has already teamed up with China Mobile to sell an RMB 1,000 ($165) Qualcomm-powered 4G phone on the world’s biggest carrier. Three more 4G-enabled products are expected this month. Coolpad’s strategy is to target consumers on a budget who still want 4G connectivity. With an array of cheap new smartphones on the way, Coolpad hopes to undercut the competition early in the 4G race.
Coolpad phones are available in about a dozen countries including the US and Europe, but domestic sales account for 90 percent of its shipments. In its home market, Coolpad is being chased hard by other domestic brands like ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
(Source: Tech 163)
(Editing by Steven Millward)