Chinese smartphone market shows rare shipment decline

Chinese vendors will have to look outside the home market for growth

The world's largest smartphone market, China, isn't so hungry for the products anymore.

First quarter smartphone shipments there dropped by 4 percent year over year, according to research firm IDC. It's the first time in six years that China's smartphone market has contracted, signifying that the country's appetite for the handsets is reaching its limit.

The number of shipments to China was still high, at 98.8 million units. IDC expects the market to remain flat for the rest of the year. To drive future growth vendors in the country will have to convince existing users to upgrade to newer phones, IDC said.

Apple has been having a great deal of success in that area. With its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it was China's largest smartphone vendor with a market share of 14.7 percent, up from 8.7 percent a year earlier.

Competition is so fierce in the market that before Apple took top spot, three other companies had taken turns over the past five quarters: Samsung Electronics, Lenovo and Xiaomi, IDC noted.

According to analysts, vendors are reacting by expanding outside of China into emerging markets such as Southeast Asia. Last year, Lenovo's CEO Yang Yuanqing said the "hyper-growth" in China had ended, adding, "If you want to win you have to find new growth areas."

Fast-rising Xiaomi is also focused on international expansion and last month it introduced a phone for the Indian market.

In addition, Chinese vendors are also trying to offer higher-end smartphones, when their past products tended to focus on the low-end. Last week, ZTE launched a pricier smartphone, starting at 3499 yuan (US$575) that comes with a bezel-less screen.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags XiaomiAppleconsumer electronicssmartphonesSamsung ElectronicsiPhoneAndroidLenovo

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?