The market for 4G smartphones in China will almost quadruple from 90 million units this year to 350 million next year, Coolpad Taiwan has forecast.
To put that demand in perspective, IDC expects global smartphone shipments to hit 1.3 billion this year and 1.4 billion next year, when (if Coolpad’s prediction is accurate) the country’s 4G handset purchases would account for 25 per cent of total global smartphone output. Analysts predict that 4G units will represent 34 per cent of smartphone sales in China this year and 62 per cent in 2015.
According to China-based Sino Market Research, Coolpad is the largest 4G smartphone vendor in the China market with a market share of more than 15 per cent. The company expects to ship more than 20 million 4G handsets this year, Digitimes reported.
The surge in 4G handset sales is being fueled by both rapidly expanding 4G coverage as well as falling prices of 4G smartphones.
China had an estimated 45 million 4G connections at the end of Q3, with China Mobile signing up the vast majority of those. The market leader expects to have 70 million 4G subscribers by the end of the year. It also has 570,000 4G base stations and is targeting 700,000 by the end of the year.
Coolpad Taiwan expects the lowest price for an entry-level 4G smartphone in China to drop from CNY799 ($130) to CNY499 in the first half of next year and to CNY399 in the second half, Digitimes said.
Pricing for an entry-level 3G smartphone is also forecast to slip to CNY199-299 in the second half of 2015.