SHANGHAI: Domestic smartphone shipments in China plunged 17per cent in November from a year earlier, extending a run of double-digit declines in the world's largest phone market, government data released on Thursday showed.
The numbers suggest that handset demand in China remains weak despite the country's fast recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and that manufacturers such as Apple Inc and its rivals will have to fight harder for a smaller pool of customers.
Phone makers shipped 27 million handsets to domestic customers in October compared with 33 million a year earlier, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a state-backed think-tank.
That follows a 27per cent year-on-year decline in October and a 36per cent decline in September.
Data from third-party research firms showed that Apple and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd saw shipments decline in the third quarter on-year, even though both companies released new flagship handsets in October.
Analysts remain bullish about sales of both devices in the short term, despite the broader market slump.
Huawei’s rival Xiaomi Corp has grabbed market share in China as Huawei faces U.S. sanctions that have affected its supply chain.
Xiaomi's smartphone revenue rose to 47.6 billion yuan in the third quarter, an increase of 47.5per cent over the same period last year.
The company, along with local vendors Oppo and Vivo, have raised their production targets for 2021 on anticipation that Huawei will face further difficulties bringing devices to market.
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz and the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)