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Strategy Analytics: China: One in Three Consumers Delay or Cancel Planned 5G and Smartphone Purchases

Supply Chain Recovered but Consumer Uncertain about buying new Tech

Strategy Analytics wireless smartphones team has released “China Smartphone: Consumer Purchase Intentions Post Covid-19” based on a survey of 1,300 consumers March 21-25. The report concludes that although Chinese are more optimistic about a rapid sling shot return to normal than US or European consumers, smartphone replacement and 5G adoption have certainly been slowed. Other key findings:

One Third of Chinese Consumers Delay 5G and new Smartphone purchases.

  • Two thirds have postponed a planned trip while 40% have delayed purchases of cars, furniture, major appliances.
  • Smartphone and 5G were not immune from delayed purchasing in China. 37% have delayed a new smartphone purchase and 32% delayed 5G adoption.
  • Apple users not surprisingly are the most optimistic with 41% intending to buy a new smartphone device as planned or sooner than planned.
  • In contrast, Huawei owners were more broadly split with 42% delaying or cancelling planned purchases but another one in four expect to buy as scheduled.
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David Kerr VP of Wireless at Strategy Analytics noted “Beyond the death toll and infection count, the economic price to pay in China will be a significant decline in GDP growth and almost certainly some pullback on discretionary expenditures by a generation of Chinese who have never known anything but boom times.”

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Linda Sui Director of Smartphone research added “The supply chain and full ecosystem may be back up to speed as we enter Q2, 2020 but it is clear that a significant portion of consumers are NOT yet ready to return to previous patterns and purchase intentions. Operators, vendors and retailers will have to work extra hard to persuade hesitant smartphone owners that new devices and new 5G services are worth making an investment in relative to other priorities”.

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