Rejoice! China's smartphone market drops 10% as 5G purchases surge

The Middle Kingdom is thought to be a few months further down the road to economic recovery and smartmobes are discretionary purchases

Sales of smartphones in China fell by 10.3 per cent year-on-year in the quarter ended 30 June, according to box-counters at analyst firm IDC.

87.8 million smartphones shipped in China during the period with Huawei out in front with 45 per cent market share and 39.7 million shipments. vivo (15m shipped), OPPO (14.1m), Xiaomi (9.1m) and Apple (7.3m) round out the top five vendors.

Only Apple and Huawei posted year-on-year-growth.

IDC reckons the result is actually pretty good news because shipments for the first quarter of the year saw a 20.3 per cent year-on-year decline.

"China was slowly recovering in the second quarter while other regions were fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic," said IDC's Asia/Pacific research manager for client devices, Will Wong. "This in turn allowed the Chinese vendors to expand their 5G product portfolio in their home market."

The firm has also found an emerging sweet spot for mid-range 5G phones priced below $290, which should further accelerate adoption of the new standard which already accounted for almost half of shipped phones in Q2 2020.

Smartphone upgrades are generally seen as discretionary purchases so a smaller fall in sales may be a sign that consumers in China are opening their wallets despite the pandemic-induced economic downturn. IDC said "consumer sentiment was a challenge". But apparently much less of a challenge than during Q1. And the firm didn't mention any supply chain hassles in its summary of the market that would suggest that as a reason for suppressed shipments. ®

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