Shipments of smartphones in China grew 11.5% sequentially to 119 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, buoyed by an increase of 54.5 million new 4G/3G service subscribers due to preferential packages launched by China Mobile, according to Digitimes Research.
While shipments of entry-level and mid-range 4G models have continued to gain momentum, high-end models from Apple and local brands such as Huawei have also stirred up replacement demand, said Digitimes Research.
Apple ranked as the top smartphone vendor in China in the fourth quarter with a 19.1% share. Xiaomi Technology ranked second, followed by Huawei, BBK, Oppo, Samsung Electronics and Meizu (5%). Meanwhile, ZTE and Lenovo saw their shipments remain flat in the quarter with their respective market shares standing at slightly over 2%.
For the first quarter of 2016, China's smartphone shipments are set to slide over 20% on quarter but rise less than 5% on year due to a stockpile of inventory left over from the previous quarter, Digitimes Research estimated.