China overtakes U.S. as largest smartphone market

Smartphone shipments reached a record 24 million units in China during the third quarter of 2011, overtaking the United States, who had 23 million units, according to a recent report by Strategy Analytics (Newton, Mass., U.S.A.). This is the first time China has surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s largest smartphone market by volume.

In China, smartphone shipments grew 58% to 23.9 million units during the third quarter of 2011, while shipments in the U.S. fell 7% to 23.3 million units, according to Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

China’s rapid growth is attributed to the increased availability of smartphones in retail channels, aggressive subsidizing by operators of high-end models like the  iPhone, and an emerging wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands such as ZTE (Shenzhen, P.R.C.), says Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics.

Nokia currently leads China’s smartphone market with 28% share, while HTC heads the United States smartphone market with 24% share. Even though China has surpassed the U.S. in terms of volume, the U.S. still remains the world’s largest smartphone market by revenue, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

China smartphone vendor shipments in Q3’11 (millions of units)

Nokia

6.8

Samsung

4.2

Others

12.9

Total

23.9

 

China smartphone vendor marketshare (%)

Nokia

28.5%

Samsung

17.6%

Others

54%

Total

100%

United States smartphone vendor shipments in Q3’11 (millions of units)

HTC

5.6

Apple

4.8

Others

12.9

Total

23.3

United States smartphone vendor marketshare (%)

HTC

24%

Apple

20%

Others

55.4%

Total

100%

 

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