China is already the world’s biggest mobile market and it’s growing every day, making competition between rival smartphone-makers tougher there than almost anywhere else in the world. Homegrown Chinese companies with razor thin profit margins and low-cost smartphones are often depicted as dominating the country, but a new study from research firm Canalys shows that Samsung still dominates the region and its lead is only growing.
In the past year, the South Korean company’s market share jumped from 14 to 21 percent. Samsung shipped 19 million smartphones over the past three months in China alone (more than twice the number it moved in the same fiscal quarter a year ago). The Galaxy-maker’s closest competition is Lenovo. The Chinese company—best known for dominating the PC industry—increased its shipments by 64 percent but couldn’t increase its market share from last year by a single point.
Samsung’s budget smartphones are often slightly more expensive than alternatives from Lenovo and other Chinese companies, but the South Korean titan has managed to maintain an edge thanks to its brand recognition. Many consumers already own Samsung TVs or other products, so they feel comfortable buying the company’s smartphones. Samsung also sells high-end handsets, but reportedly makes most of its profits in China selling low and mid-range devices.