China 5G Smartphone Market Hits New Peak


Shipments of 5G smartphones in China during March bounced back from a sharp decline in February to reach a monthly high, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) showed.

As travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 (coronavirus) were eased and shops reopened, shipments hit 6.21 million units last month compared with 2.38 million in February.

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic, Q1 shipments reached 14.06 million units, surpassing the a total of 13.8 million in all of 2019. Vendors introduced 43 5G models in the recent quarter compared with 35 in 2019.

Shipments of 5G handsets in the country doubled in November 2019 to 5.1 million units after the country’s three major operators launched the next-generation mobile technology on 31 October 2019, with 5.4 million shipped in December 2019 and 5.5 million in January.

In the opening quarter, 5G models accounted for 29.5 per cent of total smartphone shipments of 47.7 million units, with the latter down 34.7 per cent year-on-year.

Huawei, the largest vendor in China, told local media handset revenue increased in Q1 after recovering in March following a weak February, though it didn’t break out 5G numbers.

China’s major operators are due to issue March 5G subscriber numbers next week: at end February, China Mobile had 15.4 million and China Telecom 10.7 million. China Unicom did not release figures.

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