China’s total mobile phone shipments have reached 110 million in the second quarter of 2013, according to research company International Data Corporation (IDC) China...
smartphonesChina’s total mobile phone shipments have reached 110 million in the second quarter of 2013, according to research company International Data Corporation (IDC) China Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Smartphone shipments, a subcategory of mobile phone shipments, reached 86 million, growing by 10% on a quarterly basis.

“The smartphone market has maintained a two-digit quarter-on-quarter growth rate in Q2 due to two reasons. First, the substantial shipments of low-end smartphones at a unit price of less than RMB 800 that support China Mobile’s 3G network. Second, the shipments prepared by mobile phone vendors to meet the market demands of students during the summer vacation,” says Antonio Wang, Associate Director for Client System Research, Imaging, Printing & Document Solution Research, Research Operation Center, IDC China.

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“The sharp increase in shipments of low-end China Mobile smartphones has driven the growth of Lenovo and Coolpad. On a separate note, affected by the sluggish sales of iPhone 5, Apple’s market share has declined dramatically, but its performance is expected to remarkably improve with the launch of the new iPhone,” says James Yan, Senior Analyst for China Mobile Phone Market, IDC China.

Smartphone Air Interface Analysis

Driven by the subsidies of operators and the strong demand of consumers for upgrading mobile phones, IDC analysts forecast that China’s smartphone shipments will reach 360 million by the end of this year.

With the issuance of 4G licenses and the launch of Apple’s new iPhones by China Mobile, IDC expects China’s smartphone shipments to exceed 450 million in 2014, including 120 million smartphones that would support 4G functions and over 32 million smartphones that would adopt China Mobile’s TD-LTE air interface.

Smartphone Operating System Analysis

“It is difficult to displace Android’s dominant position in the Chinese market within a short period of time, but IDC predicts that its share in China’s mobile phone operating system market will reach the peak in 2013, and that the mobile phone vendors and telecom operators will adopt new operating systems with a more open attitude,” says Yan.

Due to its cooperation with China Mobile and the launch of low-cost iPhone 5C, Apple’s operating system will see a rapid growth in 2014, and IDC expects its market share to double that of 2013. In addition, the development of Firefox OS, Tizen and Linux-based Aliyun OS will enable healthy competition to be maintained among China’s smartphone operating systems, although they are currently not in the leading position.

Smartphone Screen Size Analysis

The market share of 5-inch-plus screen smartphones will continue to expand. With the increasing demand of Chinese consumers for large-screen mobile phones and the impetus by telecom operators and mobile phone vendors, IDC forecasts that the market share of 5-inch-plus screen smartphones will increase from nearly 20% in 2013 to over 50% in 2017.


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