With COVID-19 becoming like the seasonal flu and having diminishing influence, Digitimes Research expects smartphone shipments to grow between 4-7% annually over the next five years, driven by smartphone users upgrading to 5G phones and feature phone users switching to low-cost smartphones in emerging markets.
First-quarter 2021 smartphone shipments to the China market amounted to 94.6 million units. The volume represented a growth of 9% quarter-over-quarter and an upsurge of 99.6% year-over-year due to a low base period in the corresponding period of 2020.
Smartphone shipments to the China market in third-quarter 2020 plunged 25.2% on quarter and 26.2% on year due to the US government placing stricter trade sanctions on Huawei and consumer spending remaining weak.
Smartphone shipments to the China market in second-quarter 2020 were doubled sequentially, as the coronavirus pandemic in China was eased, while the economy was benefited by the re-opening and new phones were being launched.
Smartphone shipments to the China market in first-quarter 2020 plunged 51.9% from the prior quarter to reach the lowest single-quarter shipment volumes in recent years, as the market was influenced by slow season and the coronavirus outbreak.
Falling 1.5% sequentially and 7.2% annually, fourth-quarter 2019 smartphone shipments to China remained weak mainly because vendors had difficulty depleting channel inventory, 5G infrastructure coverage was still limited, 5G phones still came with high price tags, telecom operators did not subsidize phones as keen as they did when 4G phones started becoming available and the world economy was weakened by lingering trade tensions. Despite the quarter being the traditional high season, shipments were not very strong.
Global smartphone shipments will continue to decline for the second year in 2019. Although emerging markets have demand coming from feature phone users switching to smartphones, it takes longer for consumers in mature markets to upgrade their phones, resulting in the decline in overall smartphone shipments.