After nine consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2013 (2013 Q4), according to IDC (http://www.idc.com).
According to the the research group, the market shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter. Several factors drove this stumble. For one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.
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