Local cellphone sales fell for the first time in five years last year, dropping about 3 percent, a research report said on Thursday.
Market information advisory firm GfK said the decline was due to fewer people upgrading their phones and a high comparison base of sales in 2012.
Robert Wu (吳柏毅), a senior analyst with GfK, said 8.44 million mobile phones were sold last year, with smartphones accounting for about 84 percent.
High-end models costing NT$15,000 (US$495) and above accounted for less than half of total sales. Wu attributed the lowered demand to the rise of mid and entry-level smartphones.
Big-screen smartphones have become the mainstream, the advisory firm said, noting the popularity of “phablets.” Smartphones with screens of 4.5 inches or larger accounted for more than half of all smartphone sales last year, the firm’s report said, while in the fourth quarter, phablets made up more than 10 percent of smartphone sales.
GfK said that sales in the first half of this year will depend on whether mid and entry-level smartphones keep their momentum.