Shipments of smartphones in the China market grew 10.8% on quarter and 13.2% on year to 103.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by the release of iPhone 6 devices as well as low-priced 4G models by local vendors, according to Digitimes Research.
International brands accounted for 30% of China's smartphone market in the fourth quarter, with Apple leading vendors with a 15% share. China-based Xiaomi Technology ranked second-largest, while Samsung Electronics took the third position. Apple, Xiaomi and Samsung together accounted for 40% of the smartphone market in the quarter.
Affected by seasonality and inventory adjustments at vendors, local and international brands are expected to see their shipments tumble 10-20% and 15-30%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter.
Overall, China's smartphone shipments are expected to total 87.8 million units in the first quarter of 2015, down 15.5% from a quarter earlier but up 0.9% from a year earlier, Digitimes Research estimated.