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China’s smartphone market fell 11.8% in 1Q23

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 65.4 million smartphones shipped in China in 1Q23, down 11.8% year-on-year (YoY). The market continued its double-digit decline since the first quarter of 2022, even though the zero-COVID policy ended in December.

Gloomy consumer confidence continued to constrain the demand for smartphones, while wealthier consumers shifted their spending to areas like leisure and services. On the supply side, more RAM and storage are lengthening replacement cycles.

OPPO climbed to the top spot along with its sub-brand, OnePlus. OPPO’s foldable products, the Find N2 and Find N2 Flip, as well as its flagship Find X6 series helped the brand better shape its high-end image, while OnePlus’s more-than-fourfold YoY growth also supported the vendor’s performance. Apple dropped to the second position, though it launched a rare price discount in February to stimulate the demand for its iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

“As expected, 1Q23 was not a good start as consumers became more budget conscious or shifted to social activities like dining and traveling,” said Will Wong, Senior Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. Wong adds, “Nevertheless, an aggressive pricing strategy is not the sole solution. Introducing products like foldables, which provides value by impressing friends or enhancing social status for some users, will be equally important.”

CT Bureau

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