Despite comprehensive upgrades in hardware specifications, and expectations of strong sales during the October 1 holiday season, shipments of smartphones by China-based makers declined 7.3% sequentially in the third quarter of 2013, affected by high inventory levels of low-end models in the market, according to Digitimes Research.
Smartphone shipments of first-tier vendors, including Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE and Coolpad, all suffered an over 20% sequential decline in the third quarter, Digitimes Research noted. However, Huawei recaptured the title as the number one smartphone exporter in China, accounting for 12% of China's total overseas smartphone shipments, followed by Lenovo at 11.6%.
Although ZTE has managed to ramp up its overseas shipments to 60% of its total smartphone shipments, the company's high inventories of entry-level models in the domestic market will continue to impact its sales in the local market.
While still focusing on sales in the domestic market, Coolpad has been performing relatively well as compared to local rivals, optimizing the high price/performance ratios of its smartphones as well as its aggressive pricing. The chance is high for Coolpad to see its total smartphone shipments surpass those shipped by ZTE in 2013, said Digitimes Research.
TCL's performance in the third quarter was eye-catching as the vendor managed to post a 60% sequential shipment growth in the quarter.
TCL's efforts to venture into the mid-range to high-end segment and to leverage the brand image of Alcatel to promote sales in more mature markets, including the US and Europe, enabled the vendor to take the fifth position in smartphone shipment rankings in China in the third quarter.