China Overtakes United States as Top Smartphone Market

'China has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore.'

China has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest smartphone market by volume, although the United States still leads in terms of revenue, a market-research firm said Wednesday.

Strategy Analytics said that smartphone shipments hit 24 million units in China during the third quarter of the year, compared with 23 million units in the United States.

"The United States remains the world's largest smartphone market by revenue, but China has overtaken the United States in terms of volume," said Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics.

"China is now at the forefront of the worldwide mobile computing boom," Mawston said. "China has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore."

Strategy Analytics said smartphone shipments in China grew 58% in the third quarter over the previous quarter to 23.9 million units and fell 7% to 23.3 million units in the United States in the same period.

"China's rapid growth has been driven by an increasing availability of smartphones in retail channels, aggressive subsidizing by operators of high-end models like the Apple iPhone, and an emerging wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands," said Tom Kang, director of Strategy Analytics.

Finland's Nokia leads China's smartphone market with 28% share, while Taiwan's HTC heads the U.S. smartphone market with 24% share, according to Strategy Analytics.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011


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