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Communications & Networks

  China's 1H08 Smart Phone Grows 32.1%; Open Source Pushed
September 3, 2008

Smart phone 1H 2008 shipments in China reached 15.67 million sets, up 32.1% YOY, while revenues reached 37.74 billion Yuan, up 25.7% YOY. Growth has slowed, and CCID Consulting projects continued weakness for 2H08, due in part by China's overall macro economy and lack of 3G services.

The push for "open source" mobile phone operating systems.

In 1H08, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Linux are the three main smart phone operating systems in China, and their combined shipment share exceeds 90%. However, the push is for open systems.

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source: ccid consulting, July 2008

In June 2008, Nokia acquired the remaining 52% of Symbian for 264 million Euro, and announced its S60 platform on Symbian. Symbian supports the running of Motorola UIQ and NTT Docomo MOAP, which further promotes Symbian open architecture. And entering the open source fray is Google promoted Android, jointly supported by 34 IC, technology and mobile vendors. Android is scheduled for release at the end of 2008.

CCID Consulting believes that open sourced operation systems will promote smart phone development. IC vendors will be better able to incorporate software features when designing hardware. Software application vendors can invest in development and potentially reach a larger customer base. Finally, mobile phone vendors can reduce operating systems development costs.

Nokia leads in China's smart phone market.

In 1H08, Nokia strengthens its lead with 68.5% smart phone shipment share in China, followed by a distant second by Motorola at 16.5%. Nokia's smart phone shipments reached 10.71 million in this period. Amoi, Dopod, Samsung and Sony Ericsson round out the top six vendors. Other Chinese domestic vendors Coolpad, MIO, Lenovo, are within the top ten, offering dual-mode and GPS navigation functionality.

Nonetheless, Nokia remains strong, and in 2007, announced its strategy to act more like an Internet company. The Symbian acquisition is just the first step of this transformation. If Symbian succeeds in being a major software and applications framework, Nokia will be positioned well in the mobile Internet and in its leverage with telecom operators.

TD-SCDMA a window of opportunity for China's domestic vendors.

While six Chinese domestic vendors are in the 1H08 top ten in smart phone shipments, their combined share is only 10.5%. Given the rich functionality of smart phones, like audio-visual and GPS capabilities, domestic vendors are more limited in R&D expenditures relative to their multinational counterparts.

China's upcoming TD-SCDMA will provide new opportunities for domestic vendors, such as possible domestic patent advantages and favorable governmental policies. For example, in China Mobile's TD-SCDMA terminal projects, ZTE and other domestic vendors have won more than half its share. However, domestic vendors must continue to improve quality and its brand promise in order to take advantage of these opportunities.

For more information

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Unless otherwise specified, all information provided is sourced from CCID Consulting.


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