2013 Top 10 Predictions for China’s Mobile Market

Looks like the world didn’t end in 2012… so it’s time for making the yearly predictions for 2013.  The mobile market in China is changing faster than ever, and in 2013 it will only accelerate.

The smartphone revolution has happened, the OS war is won, and the 3G transition progressing on track. But the mobile ad spend boom has yet to arrive.

Read on to know what to watch for in the coming year. Now you can be like Wayne Gretzky, and go to where the pucks are headed…

1. 4G LTE licenses handed out early to Chinese carriers… China Mobile celebrates 

China Mobile was saddled with the China 3G standard, TDS-CDMA, a few years back and had a tough time getting handset support for it. The 4G transition is an opportunity for CMCC to get back in the driver’s seat, but that’s not scheduled to start until 2014 in China.

2. Weixin (WeChat) is blocked by Chinese carriers over competitive dispute   

The Chinese carriers are losing way too much money due to users moving off traditional voice/SMS channels, and they are not making revenues from data plans.

3. Sina Weibo user activity drop significantly due to “Weixin effect” 

Weibo active user rates are clearly trending down as users move more of their time and postings to Weixin Moments.

4. Facebook re-enters China market with help of a local partner but sees limited traction

Facebook has been looking to get significant presence in China for years. It’ll keep trying, but it’s an uphill battle.

5. China becomes the innovation capital for mobile social user experience and business models

China has the most smartphones, 3G users, and social network users by far than any other market… innovation can be driven where the users are concentrated and need arises.

6. 200+ million Android phones sold in China in 2013

China has transitioned to primarily smartphones already… and Android is the winner by far.

7. Local phone brands dominate phone sales numbers in China

Three (Lenovo, Huawei, and HTC) of the top five selling phone brands in China are local brands now. That’s going to be four of the top five in 2013.

8. Apple launches iPhone mini targeting mid to low-end market

Apple’s market share has fallen from 8 percent in 2011 to under 6 percent in 2012… it needs a solution to regain relevance and market share.

9. A major mobile virus outbreak spreads throughout Android devices

With more than 80 percent of new smartphones sold being Android, there is now critical mass to attract hacker attention.

10. Brands require agencies to include mobile in media plans

Every marketing director/manager is using a smartphone and all their bosses are asking, “What’s our mobile marketing plan/strategy?” And by the way, Chinese users are spending at least as much time on mobile as any other device in their lives.

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