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China smartphone market reveals marginal growth in 4Q14

Posted: 18 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IDC? smartphone? Apple? Samsung? Xiaomi?

The International Data Corp. (IDC) has reported that 107.5 million smartphones were shipped to China in 4Q14, representing a 2 per cent QoQ growth, which tallies the smartphones being shipped to China in 2014 to 420.7 million. The market also picked up in Q4, where it saw a YoY growth of 19 per cent in 4Q14 as compared to 11 per cent in 3Q14.

"Although the 3G phone shipments in China were affected by the reduction in operators' subsidy, the market was able to grow in 4Q14 due to its growth in 4G phones. Also, while the share of phones sold through operators dropped, the number of phones sold through eTailers increased (share increased from single to double-digit YoY) due to the popularity of eTailers such as jd.com and tmall.com. Apple's launch of larger screen sized phones also helped to contribute to the increase in shipments," added Tay Xiaohan, senior market analyst with IDC Asia/Pacific's client devices team.

China's smartphone shipments by vendor

China's smartphone shipments by vendor, 4Q14 vs 3Q14 and 4Q13 (Source: IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 2015)

While IDC expects the YoY growth for the smartphone market in China to hit a close to 10 per cent in 2015, there is still area for further growth in the China market. "With the reduction in operator subsidy, operator-centric vendors in the past such as ZTE, Huawei and Coolpad have increased their shipments online through direct sales as well as through eTailers. They have also established online brands for this purpose. If they can find an effective balance between their online/offline strategy and find a unique positioning for their online brands, this can be a possible channel that they can use to increase their shipment numbers in 2015," said Tay.

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