China smartphone market set to be nearly twice as large as US market

Smartphone shipments to the Chinese market will reach 240 million units in 2013

China's smartphone market is growing so fast that it is expected to be nearly twice as large as the U.S. market this year, according to research firm Canalys.

Smartphone shipments to the Chinese market will reach 239.8 million units in 2013, the research firm said in a report on Thursday. In contrast, shipments to the U.S. market will only amount to 125 million.

The gap between the two countries is striking, considering that it was only as recently as in the first quarter of 2012 that smartphone shipments to China began surpassing those of the U.S., said Canalys analyst Nicole Peng.

2012, however, was a landmark year for the devices as the country saw more consumers wanting to buy affordable smartphones. Local handset makers, already aware of the trend, began switching from selling feature phones to releasing low-priced Android devices.

As a result, China's smartphone shipments for 2012 are expected to have reached 186 million units, Peng said. This marks a major increase from the 83 million units shipped in 2011.

"In Q4 2011, the US and Chinese markets were almost the same, but the US was still bigger," she said. "Now in one year's time, China has a 100 million more smartphones than the year before."

The U.S., on the other hand, is expected to have grown to 108 million units in 2012, an increase of 8 million from the previous year.

Peng estimates China has about 100 domestic smartphone vendors, in addition to popular foreign companies such as Apple, Samsung and HTC. About 70 percent of all smartphone sales in the country come from local brands, she added.

In the future, Chinese domestic vendors will continue to dominate the smartphone market, by selling devices to the country's smaller cities, where mobile phone penetration lags at 50 to 60 percent, Peng said.

China currently has more than a billion mobile phone subscribers.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicssmartphonesCanalys

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?