Sony hopes to challenge Apple and Samsung by beating Chinese smartphone makers in the low-end market

Sony has revealed it aims to win third place in the global smartphone market, behind Apple and Samsung, by challenging Chinese manufacturers in the low-end market.

According to a Reuters report, Sony plans to take on low-cost Chinese smartphone manufacturers, including ZTE and Huawei, in emerging markets in order to build its marketshare.

Interestingly, Sony recently joined ZTE and Huawei in announcing it was jumping aboard Mozilla’s new low-end Firefox OS platform at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The company followed the move by recently releasing a developer update to its low-end Xperia E smartphone allowing developers to ‘upgrade’ the smartphone from Android to Firefox OS.

As SmartCompany recently reported, the low-end market in countries such as China represents a tremendous opportunity for smartphone platforms and manufacturers to grow their marketshare.

As of May last year, China overtook the United States as the world’s largest market for smartphones.

Currently, China has just 22% smartphone penetration in a market with 1.12 billion mobile users.

To put that figure into perspective, there are around 6.7 billion mobile devices including mobile phones and tablets, equating to 94 mobile devices for every 100 people alive on Earth today, with 1.3 billion smartphones in use worldwide.

However, the battle for the low-end is set to be tough, with the Chinese government committing to invest $US20 billion in ZTE during December last year – a figure greater than the combined market capitalisations at the time of Nokia and BlackBerry.

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