In the past months, I’ve written about the interest that Chinese phone makers have in getting US consumers interested in their mobile phones. ZTE being the one that I thought would be making an American move soon. But recently, Asus, more known for their computers and tablets in the United States, has created quite a stir, and I believe they are starting to create a following, with the Zenfone 2. And, more recently Alcatel, another Chinese manufacturer, has made some noise with the onetouch Idol 3.
Both of the above are advertised as mid-rangers, but have specs approaching flagships to some degree. The 4 GIG version of the Zenfone 2 is priced at $299 with the 2 GIG model at $199. The Idol 3 sells for $250. Since I own one of each, I can tell you firsthand that, though they may not rival the S6 or G4, both are very good and would have been considered high-end not long ago. Neither can be beat for the money in my opinion.
In a few months, we’re expecting a really big step forward for Hauwei, who is currently partnered with Google to make one of the expected two Nexus phones. This is a major step for a Chinese manufacturer that, as yet, does not have a large presence in the American mobile market. And, a short time after the Nexus is released, they are expected to reveal the Hauwei watch, which many of us mobile geek types have been anxiously awaiting since CES last January.
Make no mistake about it folks, the Chinese mobile companies are beginning to move into the US with quality products at a lower price point than we’ve seen in the past for mobile phones that are well made and focused on a good user experience. In the not-to-distant future, I expect companies like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Alcatel, Hauwei, Asus, Micromax and others to become well known in America and some to become household names, like Samsung is today. They are all putting a lot of heat on Samsung in China with Xiaomi and Micromax taking the top two sales slots in the country, pushing Samsung to third with Apple seemingly about to push the Korean manufacturer down even further.
There seems to be a good reason why the Chinese home-grown companies have made such great gains in the past couple of years and I expect that we in the US are about to see real expansion into our market. If it means that we get more choice, especially at a better price point, I say, bring it. The space between the flagships and the mid-range phones is lessening and we, the consuming public, are the winners.
Is someone other than Samsung about to top the Android phone market in the States? I don’t know, but my wallet and I are enjoying the competition.
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