The number of smartphones shipped in China has declined for the first time ever since 2011. This is being regarded as a sign that moderation might be occurring in the world’s largest market, according to IDC, a market research firm.
The study reported that in the three months ending December 31, nearly 90.8 million smartphones were reportedly shipped in China. This marks a 4.3% decline as compared to the 94.8 million smartphones that were shipped in the quarter ended September 2013. This is the first time ever that this market has recorded a drop since 2011.
Also, the slowdown could reflect that China Mobile Ltd, which ranks as the biggest carrier in the world with 767 million subscribers, had not received a commercial license for 4G services until December 2013, and it initiated the offering of Apple iPhones only in January 2014.
Another factor that may have influenced growth could be a shift from various carriers towards cutting subsidies on mobile phones with smaller screens, as consumers in China are increasingly showing a preference for devices that have larger screens.
According to an analyst working at IDC, this is the first time that the firm has witnessed a hiccup in a growth path that has otherwise remained stellar.
Market experts observe that the trend is now shifting towards convincing users about upgrading to a better phone now that the tidal wave of first-time users is ebbing.
According to the data, Samsung Electronics Co. occupied the largest market share in China during the third quarter. Samsung was closely followed by the Lenovo Group Ltd. The data also suggests that smaller domestic phone manufacturers are also growing their market share.