(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- Shipments of fifth-generation-enabled mobile phones doubled in China last month from October as the launch of commercial services helped sales despite a decline in the overall smartphone market, the latest industry data shows.
Sales of 5G phones rose to over 5 million units in November, according to the monthly market report released today by the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology, a research institute under the industry ministry. Shipments totaled about 8.4 million in the first 11 months.
China's major telecoms operators began accepting pre-orders from 5G users at the end of September, and commercial services started at the end of October. Sales of 5G handsets have gradually increased since then.
Shipments of all handset types fell 1.5 percent to 34.8 million last month from a year earlier, in line with slowing global demand. The figure has fallen each month since June, though the recent drop was less pronounced. In November, domestic phone brand shipments stood at almost 31.4 million, a 2.7 percent annual gain.
China's overall handset shipments reached 358 million in the first 11 months, down 5.4 percent on the year, while domestic brands tallied 326 million, a slide of 3.8 percent.
A total of 56 new phone models debuted last month, a 43.6 percent annual increase, including 31 fifth-generation handsets and four 5G units. Also, some 538 new models were launched in the first 11 months, a drop of 25.5 percent, which included 382 4G phones and 24 5G handsets.