|A Lenovo smartphone advertisement in a Beijing subway station. (File Photo)|
After nine consecutive month of explosive increase, China has become world's largest smart phone market, but in the fourth quarter of 2013, the growth rate saw decline for the first time.
According to a report released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm, China sold 90.8 million mobile phones in the fourth quarter of 2013, 4 million less than that of the third quarter.
One of the reasons that caused the decline is China Mobile launched 4G TD-LTE service on December 18, 2013, but 4G phones failed to fully enter into the market before the first quarter of 2014. In addition, the operators cut the subsidies for small-screen phones, which also caused the sales decline.
The IDC believes that the market in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) seemed to be matured and the growth in China's market will gradually slow down, while the emerging economies will see more growth. Indian market, still behind that of China, overtook Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany and France to become world's third largest smart phone market in 2013.