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The June explosion of new smartphones in China (updated)

The smartphone market in China has already seen many new releases in the first few months of 2016. Still, there has been a new wave of them in June.

Market research firm IDC’s new forecast in June says that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 3.1% in 2016, which is a substantial slowdown from the 10.5% growth in 2015 and the 27.8% of 2014. It is 2.6 percentage points lower than its forecast in March, due to “the continued slowdown in mature markets and China”.

However, it seems that a maturing market cannot reduce Chinese smartphone makers’ enthusiasm of introducing in more smartphones.


China’s largest smartphone maker, Huawei, launched its flagship P9 smartphone in April. The Huawei P9 is seen as the company’s most competitive smartphone against the iPhone 6 series. It later launched the Honor 5C in April, and the Honor V8 and Huawei G9 in May. Its latest product is the Honor 5A launched last Sunday, priced at USD 106, aimed at the low-end market.

According to an April report by IDC, Huawei has continued its dominance in the Chinese market, with 27.5 million shipments made in Q1 2016.


Xiaomi’s 2016 flagship product is the Mi5, launched in February. Although the company aims to bid farewell to its scarcity-based “hunger marketing”strategy, it is still not easy to acquire one at present. Xiaomi’s latest smartphone is the 6.44-inch Mi Max launched in May.

According to IDC, Xiaomi ranked fifth among the world’s top five smartphone vendors, with 70.8 million shipments made in 2015. However, it fell off the top five vendor list in terms of Q1 2016 shipments.

It is rumored that Xiaomi will launch a new smartphone Redmi 3S on Tuesday. The low-end Redmi series, according to an IDC senior market analyst, is Xiaomi’s real strength.


Chinese smartphone maker Meizu has been jokingly called the “king of product launches”, since it launched three smartphones in April alone: the M3 Note, the M3, and the flagship PRO 6. The company launched a new smartphone on Monday, the M3s, also priced at USD 106.


The first half of 2016 has also seen a number of smartphone launches by other Chinese vendors including OPPO, vivo and Lenovo. Other less well known players, including OnePlus, Nubia, 360 and Meitu, have launched or will launch their own smartphones in June.

Correction: the original piece forecast that Xiaomi will launch Redmi 3A on Tuesday. It is Redmi 3S launched on Monday.

(Top photo from baidu images)

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