5G phone shipments exploded in China last year

Sales in November and December, after the launch of Apple’s iPhone 12 series, were particularly high.

From YiCai Global’s “China’s 5G Phone Shipments Jumped Nearly 12 Times in 2020” posted Tuesday:

China’s shipments of fifth-generation wireless-enabled mobile phones increased rapidly in 2020 despite a decline in the general smartphone market, according to a government think tank.

5G phone shipments reached 163 million units in 2020, rising almost 12 times from a year ago, the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology said in its report released yesterday.

The emerging technology is getting more popular despite a wider downturn. The country’s smartphone shipments in 2020 fell by 20.4 percent to 296 million units.

Last month, 5G handsets made up more than 68 percent of all mobile phone shipments, higher than ever.

In December, 5G phone shipments more than tripled to 18.2 million from a year earlier. But that was still less than November’s record of 20.1 million units.

My take: Yicai Global is the English-language business news arm of Shanghai Media Group, China’s most powerful media entity after the China Central TV. Thanks to friend-of-the-blog Bartley Yee for spotting it.


  1. Bart Yee said:
    Gee, record 5G China sales in November and December. Wonder what that coincides with?
    Nov & Dec. 5G sales totaled 38.3M, 23.5% of the 2020 total. AppleInsider and JP Morgan report suggest monthly total International shipments to China were 5.9M (Oct), 6.9M (Nov) and 6M (Dec), for a total of 18M for CY2020 Q4. Assuming all international is Apple, Apple %marketshare of 5G units was 34.3% in Nov. and 33.0% for Dec. Would assume this is a smidge high if older non-5G phones were still selling to value conscious Chinese users.

    January 13, 2021
  2. David Emery said:
    Didn’t one ANALyst tell us that iPhone sales in China were ‘disappointing’?

    January 13, 2021
  3. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Whereas yesterday one of ours Mr. Troy Thoman posted in the thread ‘ Inviting friends-of-the-blog to Apple’s Q1 2021 Earnings Smackdown ‘ :

    “ Massive Chinese iPhone sales + lower value of the dollar = huge margins/EPS (hopefully) “

    January 13, 2021
  4. Michael Goldfeder said:
    @Bart: Thanks for sourcing that article. The more informed we all are as investors the better.

    January 13, 2021

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