China Going After Smartphones

Smartphone sales in China may top 200m units this year, according to Hsieh Ching-chiang, the president of  Taiwan wireless chip-set maker Mediatek.

Although US analyst IDC expects that smartphone sales in China will be only 137m units, Hsieh reckons that 70% to 80% of this year’s sales of smartphones in China will happen in Q4.

Even at  137m units, China would overtake the US as the world’s largest smartphone market.

Next year, says Hsieh, the China smartphone market could hit 300m. China has 693m mobile subscribers.

The worldwide market for smartphones was around 153m units in Q2, says IDC.

Leading the China charge on the supplier side is Lenovo which is adopting a ‘China first’ strategy for its smartphone manufacturing according to CEO Yang Yuanqing.

The strategy means that Lenovo will make smartphones for the China market and sell them first in China before exporting them. Yang points out that $400-$500 is a price point which ‘not every Chinese can afford’ .

Lenovo is bulding an $800m smartphone development centre and factory opening in October 2013 which is  planned to have $1.6bn in sales in 2014 and $8bn by 2017.

Lenovo’s smartphone sales in China are already outpacing iPhones and are second only to Samsung.

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