Feeds

Grey market mobes on the slide as makers go legit

'We want brands!' shout impoverished punters

High performance access to file storage

The grey market for mobile phones is forecast to slump by 12 per cent this year, ironically because handset makers can’t compete against an increasingly vibrant trade in counterfeit products, according to market watcher IHS iSuppli.

The analysis firm’s China Research Service has released new data predicting the second consecutive yearly decline for a market which is 99 per cent based in China.

From the highs of 2011, when 250.4 million mobes were shifted, shipments fell to 221.5m in 2012, followed by another predicted slump to 194.6m this year and 173.8m by 2014.

IHS is estimating the slump will continue until 2017, when shipments will diminish to 133.9m, thanks to a big drop in feature phone class grey market handsets which a growth in the ultra-low cost handset (ULCH) and smartphone segments will not be able to make up for.

Grey market, as defined by the market watcher, can include counterfeit products but also semi-legal “white box” items which often use fake IMEI codes, aren’t certified by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and are smuggled out of the country via Hong Kong to avoid VAT.

IHS director of China research, Kevin Wang, said the demise of China’s vast grey market industry is partly down to customers in emerging nations demanding recognisable brand name handsets, and partly because some grey market manufacturers are going legit in a bid to promote their own brands.

An appreciating Chinese yuan and an increasingly large and diverse range of counterfeit alternatives is also making life tough, the analyst said.

As El Reg reported last year, competition in the People’s Republic is increasing from the big name Chinese brands such as Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo.

These firms are now targeting traditional grey market customers, while their budget rivals struggle to source cheap components because of the relatively small scale of their operations.

While 99 per cent of kit is made in China, much of it is exported, primarily to Asian countries including India, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, said IHS.

The analyst claimed that APAC sales would decline to 103 million units this year, however, and eventually slump to 53 million by 2017. The Middle East and Africa in second place is the big growth region, Wang told The Reg, with sales set to reach 38.2m this year. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.