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3G smart-phone market has huge potential
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-08-16 11:40

By Xu Hong

In the 3G era, China's three telecom operators stand on the same starting line. With the escalation of competition, users' choice becomes the key to the three operators' success in the mobile phone terminal market.

The layout and transition of the terminal market mirror the focus and direction of competition in the 3G market. Recently, competition has been escalating in the 3G market: China Mobile has rolled out TD mobile phones selling less than RMB1, 000 yuan, China Unicom, which was once accused of setting excessively high tariffs on 3G packages, cuts prices again and again, and China Telecom claims that it will launch 7 million CDMA mobile phones in more than 60 models covering the low, middle and high-end market. Through one year's network deployment and preliminary expansion last year, the three operators are about to usher in the period of 3G user growth.

In the 3G age, apart from call function, the mobile phone is a mobile terminal carrying more application and services. Experts expect 3G mobile phones to see faster development this year. Research data show that in 2010, smart phones will outnumber notebook PCs; in 2014, shipments of smart phones will top 400 million, and most Internet access will be provided via mobile phones around the world.


Some industry insiders argue that 3G mobile phones' high-end brand image has been established, and now is the time to capture market shares. As the high-end space holds a small share, to become an industry leader, a mobile phone vendor must gain a stronghold in the huge low-end market. Therefore, fierce competition pushes 3G mobile phones to the low and middle-end spaces.


Setting their eyes on the 3G market, mobile phone makers are expediting industry layout, product R&D and marketing channel upgrade, and keep rolling out smart phones selling about 1,000 yuan. Thus, smart phones are no longer exclusive to high-end users.


CoolPAD, which holds an extremely high share in the high-end market, started to reach out for the low and middle-end market. At the Eighth International Mobile Phone Industry Exhibition, 3G smart phones were a highlight. Featuring dual network dual standby, animation interface and smart operating system, CoolPAD mobile phones attracted many visitors.

According to a survey, in 2009 5.28 million 3G mobile phones were sold in China. Samsung, with Nokia and CoolPAD being the top three brands, take up a market share of nearly 60 percent altogether. Among homegrown players, CoolPAD was the clear leader, holding 10 percent. Industry insiders say that the fast growth of the 3G market is ascribable to the application of new technologies, mobile Internet and 3-network convergence. Yulong Communications, for one, is strong in technology R&D and innovation. Holding hundreds of national-level patented technologies in the field of communications, it has broken technological monopoly by foreign brands in a number of key technologies.

Market competition is inevitable, and mobile phones' homogeneous trend is an indisputable fact. To seek diversified development, a mobile phone vendor needs to give full play to its technological features and meet personalized customer demand. According to Gu Yong, Director of Yulong Communications' Brand and Market Department, at present, CoolPAD's WCDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA mobile phones all can access to the GSM network so as to provide dual network dual standby functions, with a broader signal coverage. This puts CoolPAD into a better position in the industry application market, and makes mobile office possible.

As the market gets relatively saturated, the strategy of dual network dual standby will become an important tool used to win over users. Industry insiders regard it as an important direction of 3G industry chain. It will help vendors expand sales channels and effectively cope with market competition. 
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