China's smartphone shipments forecast to grow 40% in 2013

Taipei, Feb. 1 (CNA) Shipments of China-made smartphones will grow by 40 percent to 280 million units in 2013, according to a forecast by the Taiwan Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK). With the dramatic price cuts and quality gains in white box smartphones -- unbranded phones that clone more popular models -- the smartphone market will continue to expand substantially, the research center said in a recent report. China's smartphone shipments are expected to top 470 million units in 2015 and 610 million units in 2017, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 21 percent, the IEK forecast. Since quad-core smartphones were first unveiled in 2012, such specifications will be "commonly seen" among local brands and white box models in 2013, the report said. Over 15 percent of China's smartphones will use quad-core processors in 2013, and the ratio is expected to jump to 38 percent and 55 percent in 2015 and 2017, respectively, it projected. China's smartphones will be characterized as low budget and high specification models, the IEK said. (By James Lee)