Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have shipped 181.8 million smartphones during the final quarter of 2016, a study conducted by Digitimes Research found. This figure marks a 4.4-percent increase in comparison to the previous quarter and a 12.8-percent increase compared to Q4 2015. The analysts believe this achievement is directly related to the rising adoption rate of 4G services in the Far Eastern country as the state-owned China Mobile continues to offer subsidies to people willing to switch to 4G networks. This trend is directly fueling the demand for new smartphones in the country, researchers believe.
The report also states that many phone vendors in China would have likely recorded larger global shipment volumes during the final quarter of the year if the sudden demonetization of some popular banknotes in India didn't happen. Seeing how India remains one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, its demonetization crisis slowed down the overall global performance of some Chinese phone makers. Consequently, their total overseas shipments increased by only 4.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2016 and amounted to 80 million units. That figure also marks a 4.1-percent increase in comparison to the final quarter of 2015. The best performer during the fourth quarter of last year was Huawei. The Shenzhen-based tech giant was followed by OPPO and Vivo who were followed by ZTE and TCL. Both Huawei and OPPO managed to ship more than 30 million smartphones from October to December of 2016.
Regardless of those positive results, Chinese OEMs will likely record reduced shipment figures during this quarter, Digitimes Research concluded. The analysts estimate that their shipment numbers will decline by approximately 28 percent in comparison to the previous period as China's phone vendors are expected to ship around 130.5 million devices from January to March of this year. Coincidentally or not, while Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo recorded the highest shipment figures during the final quarter of last year, the average prices of their devices were also on the rise during the same period. As an increasing number of manufacturers in the Far Eastern country is starting to commit more resources to manufacturing mid-range and flagship devices, the global smartphone market will likely become even more competitive in the near future.