China's smartphone shipments will decline for the first time in seven consecutive quarters. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently released the latest report of the "China Mobile Phone Industry Operation" report in the first quarter of 2014. In the first quarter of 2014, 607 models of mobile phones were listed, down 9.5% year-on-year; mobile phone shipments were 100 million units, down 24.7% year-on-year.
Previously, data reported by Gartner showed that in 2013, the sales volume of smartphones in the Chinese market was about 320 million units, and the growth rate in 2014 slowed down, with total sales reaching 440 million units. The current situation of the decline in smartphone sales in the first quarter announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is far faster than that predicted by analysts.
For the first time in seven consecutive quarters of growth
According to the specific display contents in the report of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, 135 models of 2G mobile phones were listed, down 45.6% year-on-year, 11.14 million units were shipped, down 71.7% year-on-year; 263 new products were listed on TD-SCDMA mobile phones, up 26.3% year-on-year. The goods were 43.68 million units, up 16.5% year-on-year; WCDMA mobile phones listed 84 new products, down 42.5% year-on-year, shipments were 20.79 million units, down 37.6% year-on-year; CDMA2000 mobile phones listed new products 75 cases, up 8.7% year-on-year, shipping 15.16 million Ministry, down 33.0% year-on-year; TD-LTE mobile phone listed 50 new products, shipped 9.74 million.
From the point of view of smartphones alone, 89.11 million units were shipped in the first quarter, which also fell 9.8%. According to the report, the continuous decline in mobile phone models is due to the fact that the smartphone era is more focused on the user experience, and the homogenization is serious, and the difficulty and cost of enterprise innovation are increasing. This will bring great pressure to small and medium-sized mobile phone companies. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, there are currently 381 active mobile phone companies in China (with new products coming in the market within half a year), but the sales volume of the top 10 companies in the first quarter of 2014 accounted for 74.3%. This is 54.7% compared to the same period last year.
The slowdown in the market and the increase in concentration are very unfavorable to Chinese companies in the fast-growing period. According to the report, domestic brand shipments in the first quarter were 68.68 million units, down 34.9% year-on-year; while international manufacturers represented by Apple Samsung shipped 33.95 million units, up 9.2% year-on-year.
4G is the growth engine
The report pointed out that an important reason for the outstanding performance of international manufacturers is that 2G mobile phones account for a lower proportion than domestic enterprises, and 4G mobile phones account for a much higher proportion than domestic enterprises. In the first quarter, domestic enterprises' 2G mobile phone sales accounted for 13.1%, 4G mobile phone sales accounted for only 4.1%, while international enterprises' 2G mobile phone sales accounted for only 7.9%, and 4G mobile phone sales accounted for 20.6%.
4G mobile phones will become the new engine of China's mobile phone industry. According to Strategy Analytics, China’s smartphone shipments in 2014 will reach 180 million units. In fact, the split to the three major operators can be sure: China Mobile's target is 100 million units, China Unicom's target of 5 million units, and China Telecom's target of 36 million units. This will account for half of the smartphone sales and create a huge market from scratch.
Domestic mobile phone companies have expressed their support for the development of 4G. ZTE said that 4G mobile phone sales in 2014 will account for 40%, Coolpad said that the target is more than 60%, TCL's goal is also to reach 60%. At present, the domestic thousand-yuan 4G mobile phone has also been listed.
The tight supply of 4G chips is a big problem, especially for single-chips that support five modes. In yesterday's forum, China Mobile's relevant experts revealed that it is expected that by June, the supply of TD-LTE chips will be greatly improved. By the second half of the year, the overall TD-LTE chips will meet market demand. By the third quarter, TD - LTE mobile phones will become the mainstream of the market. From the forecast chart provided by China Mobile, it can be seen that the shipment of TD-SCDMA handsets has shown a rapid decline after the third quarter. China Mobile also pointed out that in the second half of the year, the price of five-mode 4G mobile phones will drop to 600-700 yuan, which will promote the rapid popularization of 4G mobile phones.