China overtakes U.S. as world’s largest smartphone market


China has overtaken the United States as the world’s top smartphone market by volume according to new data released on Wednesday. Market research firm Strategy Analytics found that a record 23.9 million smartphones were shipped in China during the third quarter, representing sequential growth of 58%. In the U.S., smartphone shipments fell to 23.3 million units, a 7% dip compared to the second quarter. “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 such as ZTE,” said Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics. “Nokia currently leads China’s smartphone market with 28 percent share, while HTC heads the United States smartphone market with 24 percent share.” The firm’s report also notes that the U.S. is still the top smartphone market by revenue. Read on for Strategy Analytics’ full press release.

Strategy Analytics: China Overtakes United States as World’s Largest Smartphone Market in Q3 2011

Boston, MA – November 23, 2011 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments reached a record 24 million units in China during the third quarter of 2011. Smartphone shipments reached just 23 million units in the United States. China has overtaken the United States for the first time to become the world’s largest smartphone market by volume.

Linda Sui, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Smartphone shipments grew 58 percent sequentially to reach a record 23.9 million units in China during Q3 2011. In contrast, smartphone shipments fell 7 percent sequentially to reach 23.3 million units in the United States. China has overtaken the United States for the first time to become the world’s largest smartphone market by volume.”

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “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 such as ZTE. Nokia currently leads China’s smartphone market with 28 percent share, while HTC heads the United States smartphone market with 24 percent share.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The United States remains the world’s largest smartphone market by revenue, but China has overtaken the United States in terms of volume. China is now at the forefront of the worldwide mobile computing boom. China has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore.”

Exhibit 1: China Smartphone Shipments by Vendor in Q3 2011  [1]

China Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 ’11

Nokia

6.8

Samsung

4.2

Others

12.9

Total

23.9

China Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q3 ’11

Nokia

28.5%

Samsung

17.6%

Others

54.0%

Total

100.0%

China Total Smartphone Growth Quarter-over-Quarter %

57.5%

Exhibit 2: United States Smartphone Shipments by Vendor in Q3 2011  [2]

United States Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 ’11

HTC

5.6

Apple

4.8

Others

12.9

Total

23.3

United States Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q3 ’11

HTC

24.0%

Apple

20.6%

Others

55.4%

Total

100.0%

United States Total Smartphone Growth Quarter-over-Quarter %

-7.4%

The full report, China Overtakes United States as World’s Largest Smartphone Market in Q3 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/7kltu2j.

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