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China's smartphone shipments to triple by 2013

05 ноября 2009

Research firm In-Stat finds high-end handsets accounted for 15.3% of all phone shipments in 2008, while iSuppli warns of rise of 'grey-market' devices.

Smartphone shipments in China will triple by 2013 according to new research published on Wednesday by In-Stat.

The analyst firm found that smartphones accounted for 15.3% of total handset sales in China in 2008, a 30% increase from 2007.

"Mobile Internet applications, GPS, and multimedia functionality were the most important [growth] drivers," said In-Stat analyst Alex Liu, in a statement.

"In the smartphone OS marketplace, Symbian retained its leading position and saw a small share increase in 2008 due to steady growth of Nokia smartphone sales," he said.

In-Stat said it expects the next wave of smartphone growth in China to be driven by lower barriers to entry for mobile operating systems and chipset platforms.

"A free and complete smartphone software platform from OHA (Open Handset Alliance) and the Symbian Foundation will fuel smartphone market growth in the coming years," the firm predicted.

On a global level, Gartner forecast last week that smartphone shipments will account for 37% of all handset sales by 2012, generating revenue of $191 million.

The research firm said for 2009 it expects worldwide smartphone shipments to grow by 29%.

Back to China and despite the impressive growth forecast for smartphone shipments, another analyst firm iSuppli on Tuesday issued a warning over the rise of China's grey-market phone sector.

iSuppli said it expects grey-market phone shipments to hit 145 million units in China in 2009 up 43.6% from 2008, and peaking at 192 million units by 2012.

It defines grey-market handsets as devices that are not recognised or licensed by local regulators, that often use fake International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, and do not carry the required quality certifications.

In addition, "exports of grey-market cell phones [from China] are set to rise to 110 million units in 2009, up from 60 million in 2008," said Kevin Wang, director of China research at iSuppli.

"International consumers in both developed and developing economies are being lured away from established brands by the low cost of grey-market handsets," he added.

In contrast, iSuppli said it expects worldwide unit shipments of legitimate cell phones to fall by 8% in 2009.

Wang commented that grey-market handsets often include features comparable to official phones.

"Grey-market firms are even offering smartphone models for less than $150, featuring WiFi, QVGA-resolution touchscreen interfaces and the Windows Mobile operating system," he said.

"Chinese grey-market handset suppliers have become so successful that they are grabbing share from major international handset OEMs," he said.


Источник: Total Telecom

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