Rural China Props Up 2Q Smartphone Growth

Emerging market demand for lower-cost devices fueled second-quarter growth in smartphone shipments, according to GfK.

Iain Morris, International Editor

August 19, 2016

1 Min Read
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.

For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our dedicated Mobile content channel here on Light Reading.

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

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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