Smartphone market in China - Statistics & Facts

Smartphone market in China - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about the smartphone market in China

The global smartphone market is highly dynamic. Although smartphones did not exist 20 years ago, it was estimated that the number of smartphone users worldwide has reached more than two billion in 2016.


In terms of shipments, China has remained the world’s largest smartphone market since 2012. In 2016, smartphone shipments in China reached over 467 million units, accounting for about 31.8 percent of the total volume of global smartphone shipments. The number of mobile phone users in China is projected to reach about 1.1 billion by 2019 with as many as 63 percent of them smartphone owners. The mobile phone service in China is provided by three domestic telecommunication network operators: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

By the end of 2016, the sales value of smartphones in China had amounted to about 133.6 billion dollars, with an increase of about 15 percent compared to the previous year. The large smartphone market in China also led to fierce competition among various manufacturers. Apple and Samsung are facing more and more challenges and pressure from domestic smartphone makers in China like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the shipment volume of iPhone picked up to approximately 14.9 million units after the launch of its iPhone 7 model series, while the Chinese domestic brand OPPO ranked first with a shipment volume of about 24.5 million units. The Chinese companies have long left the cheap segment and are producing more and more high-end smartphones with considerable success. They are benefiting from a rich local smartphone manufacturing and design ecosystem, which allows them to compete with foreign smartphone brands.

In terms of operating system market share, the Chinese market was dominated by Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS. The two systems occupied about 99 percent of the market by the end of 2016, while the market share of SymbianOS had dropped from 39 percent at the beginning of 2012 to only 0.01 percent by the end of 2016.

The outstanding development of the smartphone market in China is closely associated with the increasing popularity of mobile smartphone useage in the country. The majority of China’s internet users use a smartphone as their primary means of going online. According to a survey on internet use, the average daily time spent with non-voice mobile activities by adults in China had reached 98 minutes. More and more people could not live without their smartphones. When asked about the activities on their smartphones, about 33 percent of smartphone users stated that they watched online videos on their smartphones at least once a week.



Photo: istockphoto.com / hronos7; Wikimedia/cc / TechGizmo

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Facts on the smartphone market in China
General overviewValuesStatistic
Number of smartphone users worldwide1.86bn Details →
Global revenue from smartphone sales428.9bn USD Details →
Global market share of Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei9.5% Details →
Number of smartphones sold to end users worldwide1,495.36m units Details →
Subscriptions and usersValuesStatistic
Number of smartphone users in China563.1m Details →
Number of smartphone users in Hong Kong5.4m Details →
Number of mobile phone subscriptions in China as of March 20171,345 Details →
Number of 4G mobile subscriptions in China770m Details →
Smartphone shipments and salesValuesStatistic
Total number of smartphone shipments in China467.3m Details →
Annual growth in smartphone sales volume in China4.8% Details →
Value of smartphone sales in China133.6bn USD Details →
Market sharesValuesStatistic
Mobile phone penetration rate in China77.3% Details →
Share of mobile phone users that have a smartphone in China53.3% Details →
Market share of Android operated smartphones in China as of January '1783.2% Details →
Market share of Chinese vendor OPPO in smartphone shipments in China16.8% Details →
Consumer behaviorValuesStatistic
Penetration rate of internet users in China53.2% Details →
Penetration rate of mobile internet users in China95.1% Details →
Average time spent per day using smartphones in China98 min Details →
Share of Chinese smartphone users watching online videos at least once a week33% Details →


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