Despite having the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile market, China’s smartphone shipments do not appear to be holding up as strongly as many have hoped. The numbers of smartphones shipped in the country by the end of 4Q13, according to a recent report released from IDC, ended at 90.8 million units, which is down from 3Q13’s 94.8 million units (4.3% QoQ drop) and marks the first smartphone shipment decline experienced by China since 2011.
As noted by Melissa Chau, the senior research manager from IDC’s Asia division:
“The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we’ve seen in an otherwise stellar growth path…We are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year’s models.”
The future smartphone growth momentum, according to Chau, will begin to shift to other emerging markets as competition grows more intense in the China market and as the country’s smartphone industry becomes more and more saturated.