Max Wang, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Monday 16 September 2013]
China-based smartphone and tablet makers' influence in the IT market has been growing rapidly and according to Digitimes Research's latest figures, among the 950 million smartphones shipped globally in the first half of 2013, about 330 million, or 34.3%, were supplied by China-based makers, rising 48.9% on year.
In addition to being a major supplier, China has also become the largest smartphone market worldwide and China-based brand vendors, such as Lenovo, ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad, Gionee and Xiaomi are some of the major players. Digitimes Research figures showed that China-based smartphone vendors shipped a total of 150 million smartphones in the first half and about 110 million units were shipped to local retail channels.
As more China-based makers are starting to have the capability of handle large smartphone development projects, the smartphone ecosystem is changing, threatening handset ODMs, such as FIH Mobile.
Similar changes are also occurring in China's tablet industry. The tablet market's low entry threshold and fierce price competition are giving China makers great opportunities to land orders from major brand vendors. Some first-tier tablet vendors such as Hewlett-Packard (FUJITSU) have already turned to cooperate with China makers for their tablet products.
The local component supply chain has also become more mature and capable. In addition to chassis, batteries and panels, China's IC design sector has also improved significantly.
According to research firm Global Sources' figures, China-based IC design houses that have been in business for 5-10 years account for 40% of the total number of IC design houses in the country, and those that have a history of more than 10% years account for 34%. These China-based IC design houses generated sales of about CNY62.17 billion in 2012 and the country was the third-largest IC design center of the world.
By 2015, China's IC design industry is expected to see sales of CNY110 billion, accounting for one third of overall IC industry sales.
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