China has always been a wide market, determinant to the success of a company’s product startup. When it came to smartphone sales, there was no exception. Sales of smartphones began to increase as Chinese companies began to produce for themselves instead of providing blank slates for other companies such as Nokia. In 2012, China overtook the United States as the largest smartphone market. The number of units sold then was estimated to be around 208 million, rising to 380 million by the end of that year. Since then, the market had increased, making China the largest market for such devices.
This year, sales of smartphones have fallen in the second quarter, for the very first time after a constant increase, according Gartner Inc., a market research company.
According to Anshul Grupta, research director of Gartner, Inc. “China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers.” Given that China leads the mobile phone market, this poor performance has affected the overall sales of mobile phone companies.
Samsung’s worldwide sales decreased 5.3% in unit sales, despite the launch of the S6 models. The company has faced fierce competition with Apple, which saw an increase of 36% in the second quarter. Other Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and others saw an increase in sales.
In the Chinese market, iPhone sales increased to 11.9 million units, a 68% increase. The success of iPhone sales negatively affected its competitors by bringing about discount wars and inventory clearing-ups with the idea of bringing in new models to compete in the second half of 2015.
According to Grupta, “beyond the lower-end phone segment, the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract upgrades and to maintain or grow their market share in China.” The expectations rise for the second half of 2015 as the race for conquering the Chinese market continues.