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China's smartphone market slumps

by on11 May 2015

So much for Apple growing there

While the Tame Apple Press made much out of Apple's lack lustre results by talking up its smartphone prowess in China, it appears that things are not well behind the Bamboo curtain.

Beancounters at IDC say that smartphone growth in China has contracted for the first time in six years which indicates that Apple is not going to pull its nadgers out of the fire by expanding into China.

According to IDC, smartphone shipments fell in Q1 2015 by 4 percent compared to the same quarter last year, with shipments totalling 98.8 million.

Comparing data from this quarter to Q4 2014, the research firm states that shipments have fallen by 8 percent. The stumped growth is believed to be related to the struggle of convincing those already with a smartphone to switch, much like other developed markets.

Kitty Fok, managing director at IDC China said that while China is often thought of as an emerging market but the reality is that the vast majority of phones sold in China today are smartphones, similar to other mature markets like the US, UK, Australia, and Japan.
"Just like these markets, convincing existing users as well as feature phone users to upgrade to new smartphones will now be the key to further growth in the China market."

So in otherwords the numbers who can actually afford Smartphones is limited, and those who can afford them are not stupid enough to buy a new one every year.

While Apple does sit at the top of the charts, shipping nearly 15 million devices since 2015 it is being chased by local manufacturer Xiaomi sits with 13.5 million shipments. Microsoft has been attempting to push through mid-range handsets like the Lumia 830.

However if interest in smartphones continues to fall, then Apple's hope to replace its falling tablet sales with smartphone sales in China is going to fall flat.

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