IDC: China will surpass U.S. in smartphone shipments this year

IDC: China will surpass U.S. in smartphone shipments this year

Summary: China is poised to overtake the U.S. in smartphone shipments this year, according to a new report.

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TOPICS: Smartphones, China
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China is on the brink of becoming the largest smartphone market worldwide this year, according to a new report from market intelligence firm IDC.

Specifically, China is projected to account for 26.5 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2012, compared to 17.8 percent for the current leader, the United States.

IDC analysts are attributing the surge for China to two primary factors: strong end-user demand and the growth of lower-priced smartphones.

Wong Teck-Zhung, a senior market analyst covering Client Devices for IDC Asia/Pacific, explained in the report that the Chinese smartphone market will get a boost especially thanks to Android handhelds priced under $200 USD.

Near-term prices in the low-end segment will come down to US$100 and below as competition for market share intensifies among smartphone vendors. Carrier-subsidized and customized handsets from domestic vendors will further support the migration to smartphones and boost shipments. Looking ahead to the later years in the forecast, the move to 4G networks will be another growth catalyst.

Nevertheless, Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program, also warned in the report that just because China will take the lead does not mean the U.S. market is falling apart.

Now that smartphones represent the majority of mobile phone shipments, growth is expected to continue, but at a slower pace. There is still a market for first-time users as well as thriving upgrade opportunities.

By 2016, IDC analysts predict that the global smartphone market will see an even bigger shakeup, although China and the United States are still expected to hold the top two spots.

But India, in particular, will see the greatest increase with a 57.5 percent point change to account for 8.5 percent of the global smartphone marketshare in due time.

zdnet-idc-smartphone-shipments-2012

Table via IDC

Topics: Smartphones, China

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12 comments
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  • D'oh

    That's because they surpassed the U.S. in teenagers last year.
    Robert Hahn
    • think you'll find that china surpassed usa in teenagers over 6000 years ago

      You do realise that china has 4 times the population of the usa, and has been a single state for 2000 years longer than the usa?
      stevey_d
      • As long as man existed

        Pretty sure China has had a larger population that USA for the entire history of man. But I think the OP on this thread was joking, though it was not a particularly funny joke.
        goingbust
        • I thought it was pretty funny

          But then I don't kiss politically-correct ass like you do.
          Cylon Centurion
  • Chinese are earning paychecks with smartphones. Guess how they spend it?

    Smartphone.

    The first smartphone economy. :)
    goingbust
    • I'll give you

      two galaxy SII's for a HTC One X
      theoilman
  • Well...

    I guess Apple better figure out China then Because they are about to get left behind in that market!
    slickjim
    • about to?

      they're already behind
      theoilman
  • i just got a 7 inch android 4 tablet with awesome 3d and battery for $100

    Brand new, including shipping. It does video skype, sdcard, google play. It is totally awesome. Its a good chinese brand. Given this pricing on export, their internal prices and quality/ value for money must be incredible. Retina is probably great, but is it worth spending 4 times as much for?
    stevey_d
  • This Is Why Apple’s Market Share Is Declining

    The markets where Apple is strong (the US and UK) are either static or not growing anywhere near as fast as places like China. Also a more flexible platform like Android is able to cover multiple price points, and appeal both to affluent customers and to those who are a bit more price-sensitive.
    ldo17
  • I

    am planning to get the Xiaomi Mi2 as my next phone. those specs at that price, and with automatic MIUI updates which are almost as fast as google nexus devices- can't go wrong
    theoilman
  • smartphone

    they suck they miss up and get virus and spyware is on they when you buy them and the companys know this and tell no one
    ttx19