China smartphone shipments dropped for the first time after the consecutively growth of 7 quarters, according to MIIT (Ministry of Industrial and Information Technology), there were 607 new smartphone models in Q1 2014, dropping 9.5% YoY. The smartphone shipments were merely 100 million, dropping 24.7% YoY.
In 2013, China smartphone shipments were 320 million. Gartner expected it would grew to 440 million in 2014, however the shipments in Q1 showed the dropping tendency much faster than forecast.
The report showed that among the new models, 135 models were 2G mobile devices with 45.6% YoY drop and the shipments were 11.44 million with 71.7% YoY drop. TD-SCDMA had 263 new models with 26.3% YoY increase and the shipments were 43.68 million with 16.5% YoY increase. WCDMA had 84 new models with 42.5% YoY drop and shipments were 20.79 million with 37.6% YoY drop. CDMA2000 had 75 new models with 8.7% YoY increase and 15.16 million shipments with 33% YoY drop. TD-LTE (4G) had 50 new models and 9.74 million shipments.
MIIT statistics showed that the active mobile manufacturers in China reached 381, but in Q1 2014, the top 10 manufacturers sales accounted for 74.3%, which was 54.7% in Q1 2013. Chinese manufacturers had 66.86 million shipments, dropping 34.9% YoY. Global manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung’s shipments reached 33.95 million, growing 9.2% YoY.
One of the reason why global manufacturers outperformed Chinese manufacturers was that global manufacturers had lower 2G mobile devices percentage and higher 4G smartphones percentage. In Q1 2014, Chinese manufacturers 2G devices accounted for 13.1% and 4G only accounted for 4.1%; global manufacturers’ 2G shipments accounted for 7.9% and 4G smartphone accounted for 20.6%.
4G smartphones will become a new driving force of China mobile market. ZTE indicated that 4G will account for 40%, Coolpad aimed at reaching 60%.