Smartphone Sales On the Up in China

Mobile phone shipments in China totalled 97m units in Q1 2013, a 15 per cent year-on-year increase. Of these, 78m, or 80 per cent, were smartphones, representing year-on-year growth of 117 per cent, according to IDC’s 2013 Q1 China Mobile Phone Quarterly Tracker. IDC attributes much of the growth to the efforts of China’s largest mobile operator, China Mobile. Samsung is the leading handset brand, with a 19 per cent share of the market. Apple is fifth on 9 per cent. 

“In China’s smartphone market, Samsung has switched its marketing focus from competing with Apple for high-end market to maintaining its high-end market share, and is starting to strive for market for products under $200, which has so far been dominated by domestic brands,” noted Antonio Wang, associate director of IDC China’s Computing Systems Research Group. “However, Apple leverages the incentive policies for channels to inspire the shipments of iPhone4, further expanding its user base.”

IDC predicts that, thanks to operator subsidies and robust consumer demands for new phones, China’s smartphone shipments will increase sharply in 2013, and that by 2017, smartphone shipments will exceed 460m units, with a market value of 740.5bn Remminbi ($117.8bn).

IDC research also indicates that the development of smartphones will inevitably drive the innovation of the entire industry chain, further promoting the perfection of mobile communications and mobile internet ecosystem. The analyst forecasts that, by 2017, 4G mobile phone shipments will outnumber 3G mobile phone shipments.

It also predicts that large domestic vendors will acquire upstream and downstream businesses to close gaps in the supply chain, and that increased efforts will be made to develop wearable mobile technology.