China manufactured more than 1.6 billion smartphones this year

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If you’re not buying your smartphone from any of the increasingly-popular Chinese smartphone makers like Huawei or Xiaomi, then odds are you’re still buying a smartphone that was manufactured in China. In fact, if new data released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is to be believed, the vast majority of the smartphones sold this year were manufactured in the country. The ministry claims that more than 1.6 billion smartphones were manufactured in China this year, which not only exceeds the population of the country itself, but comes close to exceeding the number of smartphones sold worldwide last year.

Say what you will about China’s industrial output slowing, but it apparently doesn’t apply to the electronics sector. According to new data released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s production of mobile phones is up year on year, and the total numbers are ridiculous. To wit: China produced 1,611,974,000 mobile phones in the first eleven months of this year. 1.6 billion. To put that in perspective, according to Gartner data, total global mobile phone sales in 2014 were about 1.8 billion. MIIT’s numbers show that China’s producing phones at a rate of about 150 million a month, so by the end of 2015 when December’s data is taken into account, China will have produced about as many mobile phones as the total number sold across the globe in 2014. That’s crazy. (MIIT’s data unfortunately doesn’t include a breakdown of how many of the 1.6 billion phones China produced were smartphones, but given consumer appetites even in developing regions in 2015, I think it’s safe to assume the majority of China’s output was indeed smartphones rather than feature phones.)

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