From America's Apple to China's Xiaomi: 2014's relevant smartphone makers listed by country

From America's Apple to China's Xiaomi: 2014's relevant smartphone makers listed by country
Usually, major smartphone makers are global companies in the true meaning of the word, shipping handsets to almost every market you could think of. But things are different if we talk about these companies’ countries of origin: only a handful of countries actually matter when it comes to designing and selling smartphones. 

If you think about it, it’s rather weird that there are no relevant smartphone makers from countries like the UK, Germany, or others that have powerful economies. This being said, we thought it would be interesting to create a list of significant smartphone brands and their countries of origin. In alphabetical order:


Everyone knows that BlackBerry is no longer the top smartphone maker that it used to be some years ago. And yet the Canadian company still matters, as it can offer things that definitely set it apart, like BlackBerry OS and BBM. This year, BlackBerry is actually showing signs of rebirth, having introduced the successful (and affordable) Z3, plus the interesting Passport (pictured below), and the Classic (which will be available starting next week).


As of Q3, 2014, the top 10 list of global smartphone makers includes 6 Chinese companies: Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei, TCL/Alcatel, Coolpad, and ZTE. The rising star, as you may already know, is Xiaomi, which sold 18 million handsets in Q3 - only Samsung and Apple have managed to sell more. While Xiaomi’s great strength lies in the fact that it sells very affordable smartphones (with decent features), the company also has more expensive, high-end devices (its latest flagship is the Xiaomi Mi 4 - seen below).


Nokia no longer exists as a phone maker, but Microsoft Mobile (which incorporates Nokia’s former devices and services unit) remained based in Espoo, Finland - in Nokia’s ex-headquarters. Thus, Finland still has a relevant smartphone maker (though we must mention that Windows Phone’s current market share is about 3.2%, way behind Android and iOS). Until now, Microsoft Mobile introduced just one handset (the affordable Microsoft Lumia 535), but more are on their way.


While there’s no global smartphone maker hailing from India (yet), local handset manufacturers Micromax and Karbonn are giving Samsung a hard time in trying to keep its leading position there. What’s more, both companies have started selling smartphones in various markets across Asia and Europe, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them becoming more and more relevant in the near future.


We’re all well aware of the fact that Japanese smartphones can be awesome (or weird in some cases), and yet Sony is the only Japanese phone maker that’s widely known around the globe. Currently the world’s tenth largest smartphone vendor, Sony is shipping about 10 million handsets per quarter - helped by the popularity of flagships like the Xperia Z3. Kyocera, Panasonic, Sharp, NEC and Toshiba all have modest global presences.

South Korea

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is one of the world’s largest tech companies, and its mobile division is currently leading the global smartphone market - but you already knew that. Samsung is shipping about two times more handsets than its main rival (Apple), though its market share has declined in the last year to around 25%. Nevertheless, with powerful devices like the Galaxy Note 4 (pictured below), Galaxy S5, and their expected successors, Samsung will most likely remain at the top for the foreseeable future. Korea’s other major smartphone maker is, of course, LG, which last quarter grabbed about 5% of the global market share - thanks in no small part to its G3 flagship. Pantech is a relatively known Korean phone maker, too, but it’s relevant only in South Korea and, to some extent, in the US.


Taiwan’s HTC was once one of the top smartphone makers, but it’s now out of top 10 - though it obviously continues to make impressive devices, like the One (M8). Asus and Acer are also notable Taiwanese handset manufacturers.

United States

Finally, the US is where Apple started the smartphone revolution, almost a decade ago, by creating the iPhone (the fact that it's manufacturing it in Asia isn't relevant here). With nearly 40 million iPhones shipped in the last quarter, Apple is by far the most profitable handset maker, as it’s selling its handsets at very high prices (the latest iPhone 6 Plus being the most expensive yet). Apple aside, the US also has Motorola Mobility - which, although now a Lenovo subsidiary, is run as a separate company based in Chicago. Motorola Mobility has had a pretty good time lately, introducing several well-received smartphones like the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E. We also need to mention the Google Nexus 6, and the Droid Turbo / Moto Maxx.



1. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Here's my top 10 list: 1) Xiaomi 2) Oppo 3) Oneplus 4) Lenovo 5) Motorola 6) Huawei 7) Vivo 8) ZTE 9) Asus 10) HTC the rest of OEMs go back to your pillow and dream on

2. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

That could just as well be my top 10 list of brands I'd never buy. Thanks you made it too easy.

3. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Guess what. Nobody cares

5. gregoryyy3 unregistered

You mean the top 10 most irrelevant?

8. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

lol i see the trend ( Chinese ).

10. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

HugoBarra = VP of that Chinese crap maker. No wonder you put that on top.

12. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

List of dangerous and explosive devices.

15. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

lol. you must be living in a tent in Nepal.

4. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

Wasn't expecting Micromax to be there Anyway here is my top 10 list ~ 1) Sony/Samsung (Do I even need to say anything) 2) HTC (Design Design Design *_*) 3) Nokia (They make great stuff, people just don't buy it) 4) Motorola (Very trustworthy & kings of low end and mid range phones) 5) LG (truly innovative) 6) One Plus (love the phone,hate the company) 7) Sharp (I have high expectations) 8) Asus (pretty reliable and good customer service) 9) Xiaomi (Good stuff for crazy cheap only problem is its product are never in stock) 10)Apple (iphones & ios are not really my thing, ipads and macs are cool though)

6. Sovat_fc

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 30, 2014

Off topic again, but thanks for this cool idea! :)

14. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Micromax does not manufacture/design phones. They just buy contract phones from some chinese companies like BLU/beidu or sometimes give contract to Foxconn for manufacturing phones.

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008


9. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

I was wondering how long those china phones can last working properly? I mean, they have great specs at beginning but would it last using it for like 2 years problem free?

11. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

I definitely won't trust in Chinese copycraft...I mean engineering.

13. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Most likely not...

16. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

The day chinese companies would take over android is the day I would switch back to ios, it's not probable soon but it's starting to p*ss me off seeing those copycat iphone/sony-like phones .. it would've been good if they had chosen other names than huwawi and xiwamiwo and whatever and had a proper design and a UI that does NOT look like a wannabe iphone!

17. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

1. Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 2. Apple 3. HTC 4. Samsung 5. Sony 6. Asus 7. Meizu 8. Motorola 9. LG 10. Nokia

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