Gartner: 443.5 million mobiles will be sold in China in 2014. 90% of them will be smartphones
Gartner is doing a media blitz today in China, highlighting some interesting numbers about the biggest smartphone market in the world.
Among the highlights – China now has more than 1 billion of mobile phone users. Which is a bit strange number to focus on, since Chinese government announced as much 8 months ago, last May.
Another interesting number is the mobile sales forecast for 2014. According to Gartner’s chief analyst Lu Jun, 443.5 million mobiles will be sold in China this year. 400 million of them will be smartphones.
With new smartphone penetration rate in the Middle Kingdom reaching 90%, it is no wonder Nokia is thinking about scrapping its faux-smart Asha OS and switching to Android. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft will follow through with the Ashadroid, or will simply let Nokia feature phones wither and die after the acquisition.
Gartner also sees some serious growth in the high-end of the market in China for the next few years. According Lu Jun, high-end devices will make up 20% of overall mobile phone sales in 2014. By 2017 their share should increase to 32%. Now that iPhone is on all Chinese carriers, this sounds like a great news for Apple.
Talking about the specific companies with good prospects, Gartner analyst mentioned all the usual suspects – Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, etc. But he also suggested that we pay close attention to TCL, selling their smartphones under the Alcatel brand worldwide. They have shipped only 16 million mobile devices last year, which is not much. But TCL’s growth doubled through 2013, and they have a very interesting year ahead of them.