Chinese smartphone shipments drop for first time in six years


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chinese apple china smartphone market 2015

After years upon years of strong growth, it finally appears as though the Chinese smartphone market is slowing down. According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in China for Q1 2015 dropped four percent compared to the same quarter last year, the first year-on-year decline in six years.

Total smartphone shipments for China in Q1 2015 totaled 98.8 million, the first quarter since Q4 2013 that shipments fell below 100 million units. On top of year-on-year declines, shipments also fell by eight percent compared to the record highs of the last quarter of 2014, and shipments don't look like heading back up any time soon.

IDC suggests that shipments in China have declined because, like most other markets around the world, companies are finding it harder to convince existing smartphone owners to upgrade to new devices. Now that the majority of phone users in China have smartphones, companies can't just rely on getting people to upgrade from feature phones.

The top smartphone vendor in China is Apple, with total shipments of 14.5 million and market share around 14.7%. China's two big smartphone OEMs, Xiaomi and Huawei, follow with 13.7% and 11.4% of the market respectively. Samsung and Lenovo round out the top five, having fallen year-on-year from the top two spots.

Overall, IDC expects flat growth for the Chinese phone market in 2015. Manufacturers are expected to push into higher price segments in the market, especially Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo that have typically thrived on entry-level devices. These same vendors will also continue their expansions into overseas markets, typically held by companies like LG, Samsung and HTC.

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Posts: 2,518   +1,804
There really isn't any incentive to upgrade, unless your device is 3+ years old and won't run the newer software, or if your device has issues. Extra do-dads aren't enough to convince people to upgrade.
Fingerprint scanner, iris scanners, higher density screens, faster processors just don't cut it anymore.
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Posts: 42   +6
Saturated market. Once consumers have their desired phones it's going to take a very useful feature get a new one. I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and I'm not about to upgrade it maybe until the Note 5 comes out this fall but I'll see what features it'll have and decide by then.
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While this isn't directly related to the article which concerns Chinese phones; I agree wholeheartedly with what "p51d007" said above. There hasn't been anything innovative or intriguing enough to warrant upgrading for me. Money is not the issue, I splurge on new products almost daily. However when it comes to phones, I haven't been tempted whatsoever.

I am only considering an upgrade now as I broke the usb charger port on my Nexus 5 (which I bought right after release [November 2013] after I destroyed my Galaxy S2). Currently I use a wireless charger which works fine. So I'm still undecided if I should bother upgrading. Release a phone with a ridiculously long battery life and I will buy that (stop with useless incremental upgrades).
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Posts: 2,518   +1,804
My Note1 was over 3 years old when I retired it and got the Huawei Mate2. It was still working, but I wanted something with a bigger screen (5.3 to 6.1), LTE (my note was the international version) and a better camera. 3-4 years use should be the average, given devices today are pretty much minor updates, or have nothing to add but gimmicks.


Posts: 22   +3
Release a phone with a ridiculously long battery life and I will buy that (stop with useless incremental upgrades).
Go check out the Bluboo X550 then, it has 5300mah battery alongside with a pretty much stock 5.1 Lollipop.