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Smartphone sales to rebound as prices drop

Zhu Shenshen
Research firm IDC says sales in the China will rebound this year with the adoption of 5G models and lower prices sparked by new brands challenging for market share.
Zhu Shenshen

Chinese smartphone sales will rebound in 2021 with the adoption of 5G phones and lower prices, research firm International Data Corp (IDC) said on Friday.

Chinese smartphone market sales will hit 340 million units in 2021 with a 4.6 percent growth, rebounding with booming 5G demand and recovery from the pandemic, it said.

In 2020, Chinese market sales dropped about 11 percent, according to researchers.

But the market structure and top player rankings may change this year, researchers and industry officials said.

Current market leader Huawei Technologies faces a challenge in holding that position in 2021 as it faces strict US tech export controls and the spin-off sub-brand Honor, researcher TrendForce said in a recent note.

The dominance of Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo may change in 2021, with some new brands, said Xu Qi, marketing director at startup brand Realme.

Sales of Realme’s latest V15 models start on January 14, costing from 1,399 yuan (US$222), half or even a third the price of many 5G models.

This year, more than 40 percent of Chinese users will adopt 5G models with a rich variety of models and lower prices, according to IDC. Entry-level and affordable 5G models will be popular, which will make the market average price drop by 0.9 percent, IDC said.


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