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On the Way to the Chinese Mobile Market

Mobile Market: Fight for China

Apple's Way: Cheaper iPhones with China Mobile Contracts

Apple is being persistent on its way to China. At the end of 2013 the Corporation finally signed a contract with China Mobile (the largest mobile operator in China with more than 760 million subscribers) and started official iPhone sales in its network. Apple is planning to make iPhone popular and affordable thanks to the contract bounded sells as it is being done in the US.

The Chinese market is vital for Apple: even though iPhone sales are growing well (13% up), but the company is losing its positions on the smartphone market in general (18.7% to 15.3%). Android is becoming an absolute leader with an 80%. Google's OS is free and it is installed on the devices of only the largest global vendors but also OEM manufacturers who flooded the market with cheap devices.

Lenovo's Way: Motorola is the Key

Lenovo has also big plans to conquer the world market (it has already got great shares of the Chinese mobile market). In early 2014 it bought the Motorola Mobility company from Google for $ 2.9 billion. For Lenovo, Motorola Mobility can become the  key to the markets of the Americas. After the deal with Google Lenovo CEO Yang Yuantsin said he expects to sell 100 million smartphones in 2014. It is a very ambitious plan, considering that in 2013 the company sold about 45 million gadgets.

It is noteworthy that in 2012 Lenovo was not included even in the top 7 of the main smartphones suppliers, and in the fourth quarter of 2013, the brand took off immediately to the 4th place with 14 million gadgets sold and nearly 5% share of the market (hereinafter - the data from IDC). By the end of 2013 Lenovo had the 5th place and 4.5% of the global market. It is too close to the Korean LG with its 47.7 million smartphones sold and 4.8% of the market and the another Chinese manufacturer - Huawei with 48.8 million and 4.9 % respectively.

Lenovo has previously used similar tactics in another market - desktops and laptops. In 2005 the company bought a PC manufacturing division from IBM. As a result today Lenovo is a world leader in the market.

Samsung's Way: Cooperation with Google and New Tizen OS

Those patents that remained in Google, the search giant has already divided with the South Korean Samsung. In late January, the companies signed an agreement on cross-licensing. In fact, it gives them the right to use each other's patents in the development projects. What does it mean for the market? Taking into account that both companies has thousands of patents in the field of mobile solutions, the companies have got an opportunity for more rapid introduction of new developments without any patent wars between partners like the ones between Apple and Samsung.

However, Samsung (the largest seller of Android smartphones in the world with 31.3% of the market) makes a bet not only on Google's Android.  On February Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​the company has introduced several "smart" watches based on its own Tizen platform. Some analysts believe that this is one of the first steps in testing its new OS for later smartphones running this operating system.  Google predictably resists: the company does not want to lose such a great supplier of Android smartphones.

Microsoft's Way: Goodbye Windows Phone, Hello Android.

Microsoft has also joined the struggle for leadership in the world market (and the Chinese in particular) and is trying to change the balance of power promoting its own mobile operating system - Windows Phone. However, it is not as successful as it could be. In September, Microsoft bought once the largest manufacturer of mobile phones - Nokia for $7 billion. The main aim of the deal - to get patents and the development base.

But the outcome of these efforts is a bit doubtful. Windows Phone, according to IDC, is installed on only 3% of smartphones in the world (even though this number was twice lower in 2012). This is the third place in the top OS list, but it is hard to imagine that Windows Phone will ever beat Android and iOS. And the company's management also understands it: at Mobile World Congress Nokia presented Android-based smartphones.

So, taking into account the amount of the Chinese population, the company that will conquer this market will win a jack pot, that's why the struggle we are going to observe this year will be hot.

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