SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shipments of smartphones within China increased 67.7% year-on-year to 35.5 million handsets in March, the China Academy of Information and Communications (CAICT) reported on Monday.
The figures affirm that the handset industry has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Shipment numbers are up from 21 million in March 2020 and 21.3 million in February 2021, according to the CAICT, a state-backed think tank.
Manufacturing challenges and a lagging consumer economy marred China’s smartphone sector as COVID-19 spread in early 2020, but the industry has largely recovered along with the broader economy.
Despite the pandemic’s retreat in China, handset brands now face production issues due to a global computer chip shortage.
A confluence of factors including demand miscalculation, unexpected factory shutdowns, and U.S.-China tensions caused a number of automobile companies to report chip sourcing issues in late December.
That shortage has since spread to many types of chips and all types of hardware, including smartphones.
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)