Chinese device manufacturer Huawei and its brand Honor took a bigger share of the Russian smartphone market share than Apple in units for the first time this February, according to a Russian report. Huawei and Honor went from having a 14.5 percent share in January to a 17.4 percent share in February. The market share of Apple dropped from 15 percent to 14 percent over the same period. Samsung currently leads in the market, followed by Huawei.
While the percentage changes involved are relatively small and while Huawei is still not the market leader in Russia, this development sheds some light on an important trend in the mobile telecom sphere. As technology becomes less expensive to manufacture, innovative companies like Huawei are finding ways to make devices that do all or most of what high-end devices like Apple’s and Samsung’s do, at much lower price points. The democratization of mobile devices means that top-level smartphone functionalities can be placed in the hands of more users than ever.
For mobile operators, the rise of budget devices is nothing but good news. It means more data-users and more users of innovative data-intensive value-added services. It also means that subscribers can spend more on plan features as they spend less on devices. And that applies both in developing and developed economies.