5G provides boost to China’s smartphone market as sales rise by 14%

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According to a new report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) – a government-backed think-tank for tech innovation – April’s domestic mobile phone shipments were up by 14.2 percent on the same period last year, at 41.7 million units.

In a breakdown of sales, the report claims that 5G phones sales were the primary reason for China’s impressive numbers for April, with domestic 5G mobile phone shipments at 16.4 million, representing 39.3 percent of the total shipments. 

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5G models made up 45.8% of sales

In April, there were 32 new smartphones released, which was down by 5.9 percent, but 22 of the new phones were 5G models, accounting for 45.8 percent of all new phone models released in the Chinese market.

These numbers will be reassuring for an industry, which – for the last two months – has been issuing grave warnings based on poor numbers from the start of the year.

In April, research firm Strategy Analytics warned the smartphone industry would suffer a 20 percent drop in revenues, and suggested that the earliest recovery wouldn’t come until 2021, with smartphone shipments falling from 99.2m units in February 2019 to 61.8m units during the same month in 2020 (a 38 percent drop year-on-year).

However, China’s apparent success story will be much harder for other countries to emulate, with the majority still in a state of ‘lockdown’, and social distancing measures unlikely to ease anytime soon. But these numbers do provide a degree of hope for those manufacturers that recorded record slumps in February and March.

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Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.