China’s smartphone shipments in March surged 68% to 35.3 million units, in stark contrast to the pandemic-stricken economy of a year ago.
Of the phones shipped last month, 76% were 5G-enabled, according to data made available by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), an entity of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In the first quarter overall, as the CAICT reported, the domestic mobile phone market shipments doubled from the first quarter of 2020 to about 98 million units. Of those, Chinese brands made up 89% of the sales. From January to March, 122 new phone models were released to the market, at an increase of 49% year-over-year, CAICT said.
Worldwide, the smartphone market increased 24% in the first quarter, according to research from Strategy Analytics. The Boston firm said Samsung Electronics and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) were the top two global sellers, while China’s Xiaomi (HKEX: 1810), OPPO, and Vivo followed. Huawei Technologies was not among the top five.
Shipments from China rose 35% in the international market, Strategy Analytics reported, calling China’s 5G push into the global market “sensational.”
The firm’s senior director, Linda Sui, also commented on the condition of the chip supply: “Chip shortages and supply side constraints did not have a significant impact in Q1 among the top 5 brands but was and will be a concern for smaller vendors over the next few quarters in our view.”