Shipments of mobile phones to China fell 6 percent in March compared with the same year-earlier month, official figures showed on Wednesday.
According to a report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT,) the domestic mobile phone market totaled 28.373 million units, down 6.0% year-on-year.
Of the total amount of sold phones in the period, the 95.1% percent were
4G mobile phones (26.78 million), down 3.9% year-on-year. Shipments of 2G and 3G phones were 1.387 million and 0.8 million respectively.
For the January to March 2019 period, the total shipments of the mobile phones were 76.931 million, down 11.9% year-on-year, CAICT said.
The slowdown points to continued pressure on the likes of Apple, which endured a steep drop in China sales in late 2018, and its domestic smartphone rivals.
The number of new devices launched by phone makers also fell, according to CAICT. A total of 52 new handsets hit the market in the month, down 35 percent from a year earlier.
Industry analysts generally attribute the weak performance to a slowdown in economic growth, longer upgrade cycles, and the lack in feature innovation as carriers focus on preparations for the launch 5G connectivity on their networks.
In 2018, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, Oppo, and Vivo each captured a bigger share of the $500-to-$800 price range of phones, a segment once dominated by Apple.