Apple and Samsung losing out to Chinese smartphones Huawei Technologies

Apple and Samsung’s domination of the smartphone world is being challenged like never before, with Chinese companies muscling in with cheaper and just as innovative devices.

In an ominous sign for the tech titans — whose iPhone and Galaxy handsets have had a stranglehold on the almost $500 billion market for years — China’s HuaweiTechnologies Co has unseated Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker. Now, it’s setting its sights on No 1 Samsung, which has seen disappointing profits as Chinese phones gain share of a market that looks increasingly like it has peaked.

Huawei: The Big Threat

Based in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen, Huawei is plowing cash into bolstering its phones’ camera capabilities in a quest to dominate. Its flagship P20 Pro boasts a three-lens camera that was co-engineered with the 104-year-old German camera maker Leica. Huawei also offers a shiny, rainbow-effect handset finish known as Twilight, differentiating their product from the many monotone smartphones on the market.

Xiaomi: Bargain-Hunter’s Pick

Beijing-based Xiaomi hasn’t been shy about aping Apple in everything from the appearance of its phones to the look of its flagship stores. Like Apple, Xiaomi has tried to create its own ecosystem, operating its own app stores and music-streaming apps. In recent years, though, Apple has trailed the Chinese company on some design features, with Xiaomi shifting to a full-display screen long before the smartphone titan.

Transsion/Tecno: Africa’s Phone

Consumers in the US, Europe — and even China — would be lucky to have seen a Transsion phone, but in Africa, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer is king. Founded in 2006, the company made an early bet on the continent’s nascent smartphone market, setting up its first assembly line in Ethiopia. It’s since grown into Africa’s leading mobile device maker, with three in 10 phones sold there from Transsion’s brand Tecno Mobile.

Oppo: The Screen King

Nipping at the heels of Huawei and Xiaomi in its home market, Oppo started life as a manufacturer of MP3 and DVD players before segueing into China’s cutthroat smartphone market. Now it’s got its sights on the UK and Europe.

Vivo: Edge on Sound

Oppo and Vivo may be smartphone competitors, but they were both co-founded by serial entrepreneur Duan Yongping. The companies made a splash by selling high-quality phones with good battery life at a cheaper price point to Apple and Samsung in China, and now Vivo is trying to build on that success. It was one of the first Chinese smartphone makers to tap developing countries like India

OnePlus: Hipster’s Choice

With a sleek look and dual-lens camera capable of producing almost ethereal images, OnePlus has gained a following outside China that’s pretty unique to the country’s smartphone upstarts. By making its OnePlus One invitation-only — and keeping the price competitive — the company made the device “the most desirable phone in the world,” according to

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