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Navigating the smartphone landscape

What Chinese OEMs can do to outplay the competition

THE BREAKTHROUGH OF LOWER-TIER SMARTPHONE MANUFACTURERS IN CHINA


According to the latest industry analyses, 458 million smartphones were sold in China in 2016—approximately 1/3 of total sales globally. In the Chinese market, tier-1 and tier-2 OEM brands claimed a market share of 34 and 31 percent respectively, compared with 32 and 25 percent respectively in 2015—a competitive landscape between the two leagues is coming into shape.

The emergence of new consumer bases, the penetration of 4G networks and 4G roaming, as well as the significantly-changing consumer buying habits, are opening new doors for tier-2 and tier-3 OEMs to grow revenue and gain market share.

THREE FACTORS REDEFINING THE MOBILE PHONE INDUSTRY

Today, three factors are driving the continuous evolution of the global mobile phone landscape.

  • ACCELERATION OF 4G NETWORK COVERAGE

  • GREATER SMARTPHONE AVAILABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY

  • CHANGING CHANNEL DYNAMICS

LESS IS MORE

In today’s era of customer-centricity, marketers are at pains to create distinct versions of their products for each customer segment. However, if seen from another angle, smartphone OEMs could greatly ease off from this and even perform better by reducing the number of stock keeping units (SKU) across their product portfolio, and considering making one device for all the target segments.

Accenture research shows that when the product portfolio of a tier-2 OEM is made up of global devices and fewer SKUs, the company typically will experience a 2.5x return on investment (ROI).

ALIGN FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS WITH CARRIER AND CUSTOMER PREFERENCES

Our research has found that, if an OEM can better address the core needs of users, it will help enhance the attractiveness of their devices from customers and carriers. This is especially effective in highly fragmented markets like China, where both sales volumes and average selling price (ASP) are expected to increase.

The breakthrough battle for tier-2 and tier-3 mobile brands has started. Local OEMs are facing both tremendous opportunities and formidable challenges. Success hinges on whether they can deploy the right strategies that are centered upon customer experience and ride on the latest technological trends of the mobile industry.


Authors

Robert Hah
Managing Director -
Accenture Strategy, Greater China

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Benjamin Pan
Senior Manager -
Accenture Strategy, Greater China

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Marco Siu
Manager -
Accenture Strategy, Greater China

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