China’s smartphone shipments reached 86 million units during Q2, according to IDC, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 10 per cent.

Antonio Wang, an associate director at IDC China, attributes the double-digit increase to two factors.

First, the “substantial shipments of low-end smartphones” that support China Mobile’s 3G network at a unit price of less than CNY800 ($130). This has driven market share growth for Lenovo and Coolpad (see below).


Second, shipments by mobile phone vendors preparing to meet the demands of students during the summer vacation, which has also helped boost sales.

Against this backdrop, IDC finds that Apple’s market share has “declined dramatically” due to sluggish sales of iPhone 5, but James Yan, a senior analyst at IDC China, expects the performance of the Cupertino giant to “remarkably improve” with the launch of the new iPhone.

Thanks to its anticipated cooperation with China Mobile and the launch of a lower-cost iPhone model, IDC says iOS will see rapid growth in 2014, doubling its 2013 market share.

The development of Firefox OS, Tizen and Android-based Aliyun OS will also enable healthy competition to be maintained among China’s smartphone operating systems, although Android itself – despite losing market share – will remain in a dominant position.


Driven by operator subsidies and the strong demand of consumers for upgrading mobile phones, IDC reckons that China’s smartphone shipments will reach 360 million in 2013, and then exceed 450 million in 2014.

Of the 2014 figure, IDC forecasts that 120 million will support 4G, with China Mobile’s TD-LTE smartphone shipments exceeding 32 million.