2010 marked a year of outstanding growth for China's handset market – unit shipments saw a 17 percent increase from 2009, with smartphone shipments accounting for 11 percent of the total. The smartphone growth trend is expected to continue at least through the next five years. Entry-level smartphones retailing between $155 and $200 (US dollars) will be the driving force for this growth and for the attendant subscription rate growth among Chinese handset operators. This market surge is also reshaping the handset manufacturing and distribution business model in China.

China has successfully achieved the first phase of its 3G technology deployment, completing 3G network construction in most major provinces and cities. The total number of 3G subscribers in the country climbed to 47 million in 2010.