China Mobile has a total of 770 million mobile service subscribers, accounting for over 60% of China's mobile service market, making the carrier a major force to push 4G services in China. Initially, users looking for 4G are more likely to buy high-end smartphones from international brands. Apple, which began to promote its 4G-enabled iPhones in China in cooperation with China Mobile in mid-January 2014, thus became the biggest winner in the race for 4G smartphone sales in China in the first quarter.
Shipments of smartphones in the China market in general declined 6.4% sequentially in the first quarter of 2014 as consumers delayed plans for the purchase of new phones or replacements.
In terms of shipment volume, Samsung Electronics ranked the top smartphone vendor (combined 3 and 4G) in China in terms of shipment volume in the first quarter of 2014, followed by Apple, Xiaomi Technology and Coolpad, according to a new DigiTimes Research report.