China overtakes US as top smartphone market: study

November 23, 2011
Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop holds the new Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone as he delivers a speech at the Nokia World 2011 conference in London, October 2011. China has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest smartphone market by volume although the US still leads in terms of revenue, a market research firm said Wednesday.

China has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest smartphone market by volume although the US 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 to 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 Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

"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 percent in the third quarter over the previous quarter to 23.9 million units and fell seven percent 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 , and an emerging wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands," Strategy Analytics director Tom Kang said.

Finland's Nokia leads China's smartphone market with 28 percent share while Taiwan's heads the US market with 24 percent share, according to Strategy Analytics.

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