China overtakes US in smartphone sales

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In this July 11, 2008 file photo, models hold the new iPhones during the first day of the release in Hong Kong. Photo - Kin Cheung/AP

China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market by volume in the third quarter but the U.S. still remains the worlds largest smartphone market by revenue, according to a research firm Strategy Analytics.

Smartphone shipments grew 58 per cent to reach a record 23.9 million units in China during the quarter, while US shipments fell 7 per cent from the second quarter to reach 23.3 million devices, according to the research firm.

China has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore, said Neil Mawston, an analyst with market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Operator subsidies which tempt consumers into long term contracts and as well the iPhone and other phones from Chinese vendors such as ZTE Corp which uses Google Inc’s Android software has enabled China to capture the smartphone market.

Analysts believe many consumers are still waiting for the next version of iPhone, expected to be called iPhone 5. As a result China may have a narrower lead or even lose the number one position to the US again in the current quarter, according to Strategy Analytics analyst Linda Sui.

“Whether China can maintain the No. 1 spot depends on the US market,” Sui said. “It really depends on iPhone demand in the US”

Source: WSJ, Times of India

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