Rural China Props Up 2Q Smartphone Growth

Surging demand for connectivity in rural China delivered a welcome boost to smartphone shipments in the second quarter of the year, according to data published by market tracker GfK.

Some 330.1 million units shipped in the April-to-June quarter, 6.9% more than a year earlier, with revenues rising by 6.2%, to $99.7 billion, over the same period, GfK AG said.

Shipments declined on a year-on-year basis in most developed markets, but were up sharply in China (increasing 24%) and also showed improvements in other emerging markets.

GfK analysts reckon this growth was fueled by demand for lower-cost smartphones from manufacturers such as OPPO and Vivo in China.

"The strong growth was driven primarily by continued operator subsidies (which began in early 2016), which helped drive strong 4G smartphone adoption in the smaller cities," says GfK.

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By contrast, there has been a slump in Chinese demand for pricier models, such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone.

For more on GfK's latest analysis, see this report from Telecoms.com.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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