351 million new smartphones shipped to stores across China in 2013, according to data from market intelligence firm IDC. That means China accounts for just over one-third of all smartphone shipments around the world at the end of 2013. Smartphones now account for over 80 percent of China’s total phone sales.
While shipments don’t equate to sales (who knows how many are lying unsold on shelves or in warehouses), the number gives us a good sense of the momentum behind smartphones in the nation. It’s harder to tell how many active smartphone users there are in China – mainly due to China’s much-altered Android phones not registering with the mothership at Google – but search giant Baidu reckons there are 270 million active Android users in China in Q3 2013.
IDC is milking its numbers by revealing 2013 data in dribs and drabs. The rest of IDC’s numbers revealed today are rehashed from earlier reports. Here’s a summary:
1 billion smartphone shipments globally in 2013.
That figure is up from 752 million worldwide in 2012.
As smartphone uptake reaches the saturation point in China, growth is slowing.
IDC’s Simon Baker adds today:
The next half billion new smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa. Emerging markets in Asia-Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market. This is a very big market opportunity.
IDC’s announcement today is here (MS Word file).
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)