China smartphone market contracts - Mobile World Live

China smartphone market contracts

25 JAN 2019
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Chinese smartphone shipments dropped by more than 50 million units in 2018, as a run of quarterly declines continued in the final three months of the year, Strategy Analytics figures show.

Senior analyst Yiwen Wu said the market in China is in recession due to longer replacement cycles and weak consumer spending. Shipments in Q4 2018 fell 11 per cent year-on-year to 107.9 million units, and were also down 11 per cent for the full year to 408.5 million.

Of the leading five vendors, only Huawei and Vivo made gains in 2018 (see chart, below, click to enlarge).

Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics, stated Vivo is “very close to overtaking” second-placed Oppo, which is feeling the heat from Huawei in the mid-tier smartphone segment and “offline retail channels across major cities”.

The research company noted Apple overtook Xiaomi during Q4 2018, but is still well behind its Chinese rival in terms of full year shipments.

“Ongoing patent battles with Qualcomm are a distraction, while Apple is being heavily criticised for its expensive retail prices. Apple is in danger of pricing the iPhone out of China,” Oh said.

Outside the top five, shipments by vendors in the ‘others’ category fell more than 50 per cent in 2018.

Earlier in the month the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology released figures showing 2018 shipments fell 15.3 per cent year-on-year to 391 million units.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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