A view from China – big is big

I recently spent a week in China talking about [url=http://deviceatlas.com]DeviceAtlas[/url] and [url=http://gomobi.info]goMobi[/url] to various resellers and government officials.

On these kinds of business trips, it’s always interesting to see what kind of mobile devices are in use. My travels were confined to Beijing but is nonetheless worth noting observations from there.

The first striking point is that large-screen phones overwhelmingly dominate the market. Interestingly, this is exactly what I saw in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. The extent to which these phones dominate is remarkable—almost every phone that I actually saw in use was squarely in the “phablet” category. I saw multiple iPhone 6 Pluses and my first sighting in the wild of the Blackberry Passport.

Our own web usage data doesn’t show quite the same picture but this is probably explained by the fact that our data here is for China as a whole, not Beijing in particular.

[img]/files/screen_sizes_in_china.png[/img]

You can view this data (free DeviceAtlas account required) [url=https://deviceatlas.com/device-data/explorer#properties/19/4751725]here[/url].

The second notable aspect about phones in China was that I did not see a single feature phone in use anywhere, for an entire week. To make sure I wasn’t missing anything I visited few of phone stores to see what they had in stock. Some of them had no feature phones whatsoever—literally every device on sale was a touch-screen smartphone.

The overall phone manufacturer breakdown is a little different than in the west. Samsung, Apple and HTC have a strong presence just as they do in the west, but so too do local manufacturers such as Lenovo, Huawei, Xaomi and Meizu. All of these local players have strong contenders in the phablet category, and indeed Samsung-like coverage of every size category.

This matches our own device popularity figures for China overall:

[img]/files/popular_devices_in_china_0.png[/img]

You can view and interact with this and other device data [url=https://deviceatlas.com/device-data/explorer/webusage-by-country/traffic/no-tablet/country/cn/type/device_marketing]here[/url].

Bejing clearly doesn’t represent all of China—on average it is much richer than the rest of the country but it probably is a leading indicator.

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