China’s smartphone shipments dropped 14 percent in 2018

Smartphone numbers are down all over — but things look especially stark in China these days. Tim Cook cited softened demand in the world’s largest smartphone market as a key factor in its lowered guidance, and Apple is far from alone in feeling the pinch. Today, Canalys reported another large drop in the country for 2018.

The firm says that shipments dropped 14 percent in China for the year. That’s the second year in a row shipments have dropped, following more than half-a-decade of impressive growth, rocketing China to the number one spot, ahead of the U.S. All told, 396 million units were shipped last year, marking the lowest level since 2013.

Domestic companies Huawei and Vivo both managed to grow in that time, hitting first and second place. Oppo and Xiaomi slipped a bit, but managed to hold the second and fourth place positions, respectively. Apple, the sole U.S. representative in the top 5, held onto fifth place, but still dropped 13 percent. The rest of the industry, meanwhile, dropped a staggering 60 percent, year over year.

Much of what’s at play here is a familiar story all over. A matured market means upgrade cycles have slowed down, as more users are choosing to hold onto handsets for long. Even more pronounced, however, is a combination of slowed economic growth and lowered purchasing power in the country.

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