China smartphone shipments jump in 2021 but below pre-pandemic level
Customers buy iPhone13 phones at Apple’s flagship smart product store in Shanghai, China, 12 October 2021.
Xing Yun | Cost Photo | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
China’s domestic smartphone shipments have recovered from the hit they suffered during the pandemic, but have still not recovered to pre-Covid levels, according to government data.
The smartphone industry has been constrained by a variety of factors, from global semiconductor shortages to disruption caused by Covid outbreaks in China.
Domestic smartphone shipments totaled 342.8 million in 2021, up 15.9 percent year on year, according to data released Tuesday by the Chinese Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT).
This is strong growth from 2020, which saw the market take a hit due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Various parts of the country have been locked down, which has effectively crippled large parts of the economy.
Still, the figure for smartphone shipments in 2021 is lower than the 371.7 million units shipped in 2019, before the pandemic began.
The smartphone industry faced a number of issues in 2021 that may have prevented the market from reaching pre-pandemic levels, according to Counterpoint Research partner Neil Shah.
Shah said the “supply chain shortage” was a big problem, referring to the global shortage of semiconductors that has hit industries from automotive to consumer electronics.
As part of its so-called “zero Covid” policy, China has quarantined areas or cities as it seeks to stem the spread of epidemics throughout the year.
“Consumers are holding their devices longer and the stop-start COVID waves are also keeping consumer spending and shopping habits muted,” Shah said.
The CAICT has not published a breakdown of manufacturers’ market share.
However, separate data released by market research firm Canalys on Tuesday showed global smartphone shipments rose just 1% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, constrained by supply chain shortages. and a resurgence of Covid cases around the world.
Canalys said Apple reclaimed the top spot as the world’s biggest smartphone player with 22% market share, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13. South Korea’s Samsung followed with 20% share. Steps.