China overtakes US in smartphone shipments

America is no longer top by volume, although it remains number one going by revenue

November 24, 2011
iPhone 4S

Which country is the leading nation in the world when it comes to smartphone shipments?

The US, you might have thought, but the headline of this story has more than likely given the game away.

In fact it’s now China, whose massive population are now shifting to smartphones rather than feature phones in enough quantity to surpass America when it came to third quarter shipment figures.

This is according to Strategy Analytics, the ever present research company, who reckon that Q3 smartphone shipments saw China besting the US by over half a million units to become the smartest phoners across the globe.

Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, commented: “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.”

Strategy Analytics put the success of China down to several factors, the first being some aggressive subsidising on higher end phones such as Apple’s iPhone.

That has been coupled with the success of new local brands, for example ZTE who are making great strides in China (and in other territories).

However, Nokia is still the top player in the Chinese smartphone market with a 28% share. That compares to HTC who are top of the US smartphone league on 24%.

The US, however, remains the biggest smartphone market in the world in terms of revenue if not sheer volume of numbers.

However, we can certainly expect to see more Apple stores popping up across China in the near future (and more fake ones too, no doubt).


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