In the last couple of years, the smartphone industry has changed its dynamics so fast that a number of major players almost became irrelevant. Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) are both trying to reenter the smartphone market with more capable hardware and far more appealing operating systems. Nokia has partnered with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to launch the amazing Lumia series of phones, and Blackberry has overhauled its outdated OS and launched the BB10. The initial response to both efforts has been good, but the market is still waiting for solid sales data before it considers these efforts successes. These two companies face competition from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as well as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android. Android is the largest OS in the world, and is also the fasting growing smartphone operating system. The only way BlackBerry and Nokia can turnaround is if they can find cracks in the Android's dominance.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS is restricted to only Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hardware, but Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) freely lends its Android to manufacturers. This has allowed the small unknown smartphone brands of yesterday to develop and build a huge brand following based on the Android ecosystem and software. The fan base of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pretty strong, and it is difficult to turn an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) user onto a new brand. Therefore, the comeback efforts of Nokia and BlackBerry primarily hinge on the willingness of consumers to give up on Android.
China is an economic superpower and has one of the most lucrative consumer markets in the world. Due to its large population and low technology dispersion, China remains one of the biggest targets for smartphone growth. According to reports, the Chinese smartphone industry might become double the U.S. industry's size in only a couple of years' time. The total number of smartphones in China could reach a mammoth 500 million by the year's end. These statistics make China the biggest and the most attractive smartphone market in the world.
The Chinese market can be classified as a value smartphone market. There is a growing demand for high-end devices, but there is still a higher growth rate in value devices. This is the very reason that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not been able to dominate the Chinese market. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) model of selling iPhones relies heavily on subsidies from carriers, and this lack of carrier support has been a primary reason behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s slow growth rate in China. Where the iPhone has suffered, much cheaper Android devices have taken off: the Android growth rate in China is almost twice the global Android growth.