Smartphone shipments in China fell below 100 million in the first quarter of this year, the first time since Q3 2013, a report showed.
China was the biggest driver of the global smartphone shipment decline in Q1, which posted a 2.9-percent year-on-year drop to 334.3 million, according to preliminary data from global market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC).
"Globally, as well as in China, a key bellwether, smartphone consumers are trading up to more premium devices, but there are no longer as many new smartphone converts, resulting in shipments dropping," said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
China has more mobile internet users than any other country as their number reached 753 million by the end of 2017.
Shenzhen-based Chinese telecom giant Huawei's global market share ranked third in Q1 after Samsung and Apple, followed by China's Xiaomi and OPPO, the report showed.
The three Chinese smartphone makers all saw their overseas sales further expand in Q1, especially in markets in Western Europe, India and Southeast Asia.