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The average price of a new Android phone in China? A mere $233

Android prices in China 2013

(Pre-photoshopped image from balanceofculture.com)

Android is huge in China, with an estimated 270 million actively using an Android phone right now. We know which brands Chinese Android users like to buy, but how much are they spending on each phone? App analytics platform Umeng says it has the answer.

Umeng has observed all the Android phones that appear on its ad network and found that China’s average price of newly sold Android phones is just RMB 1,426, which is $233. The figure comes from data for October, and is the newest available right now.

Interestingly, pricier Android phones are not found where you might think, in wealthier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Instead, the highest average spending on a new Android phone in China is found in the frozen north: $359 in Panjin, Liaoning province; $352 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia; $351 in Dalian, Liaoning. Those cities might be out in the sticks, but they have fairly high GDP per capita, Umeng notes.

You might recognize the name Ordos from its global notoriety as a brand-new, well-developed, but largely empty urbanization project. It’s a ghost city.

Big-city cheapskates

Here are a few more well-known Chinese cities that are much lower down in terms of average phone price:

  • 30th: Beijing

  • 47th: Shanghai

  • 70th: Shenzhen

  • 149th: Guangzhou

Umeng says that Guangzhou’s average price was just $224 per new Android phone. The huge number of people in these major cities pushed down the national average. Figures for the other major cities are not available.

Of course, as with all statistics, Umeng’s come with a few notes of caution. The analytics platform doesn’t take into account grey-import phones for some reason (those phones smuggled from other countries to avoid sales taxes, usually brought in from Hong Kong, even though they’re very common in China for phones at all price-points. Plus, the data only includes those going online via 2G or 3G, not via wi-fi.

On a budget

Luckily for phone manufacturers, they’re already tuned into this trend for cheap yet good quality smartphones, and are bringing the cost of quad-core Android smartphones as low as $130, which is well below the national average. Phones like the Xiaomi Hongmi, which costs RMB 999 ($125), will likely push the average price down even further, posing a huge threat to flagship phones from brands like HTC and Samsung, which tend to cost in excess of $500.

These days, the price threshold for a more top-line, less plasticky, Chinese-made Android phone – like the Xiaomi Mi3 or Meizu MX3 – is $325 to $400.

(Hat-tip to Marbridge Daily for spotting this)

(Editing by Paul Bischoff)


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