China expected to rally past the US in smartphone market share this year

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 4:17:55 by

China’s smartphone market is growing a faster rate than the US, research firm IDC said in a report. The firm estimated that the Chinese market, despite all the slow economy, will surpass the US market at the end of this year.

IDC expects that China will gouge a 26.5 percent share of the smartphone sales and shipments this year as compared to 17.8 percent allotted to the US. Despite the slow growth in other financial and economic sectors, the smartphone market, according to the company is growing fast,  due to the subsidized smartphone prices by cellular carriers.

The main player in the market is Google with its Android operating system. Due to the open-ended nature of the OS, almost every non-Apple-company has made a smartphone running on some version of Android.  However, it still seems that Apple will be biggest beneficiary of the growth rate in the coming years.

“Despite weakening economic growth in China, we believe the country’s mobile Internet is at an inflection point and Apple will prove to be a major beneficiary,” wrote Brian White, a Topeka analyst, in a research note this week.

The smartphone market has received a big boost from the subsidized price model adopted by major cellular carriers in China. Among other China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom are the biggest players. However, China Mobile is still to add iPhone in its catalogue. That is expected to happen this year.

“Carrier-subsidized and customized handsets from (China) vendors will further support the migration to smartphones and boost shipments,” IDC analyst Wong Teck-Zhung said in the firm’s report.

There are more than 1.06 Billion cellphone users in China, according to Topeka Capital Markets. Out of which 183 Million are subscribed to 3G network, a number that is fast growing. However, the introduction of 4G LTE this year or the next will be big boost in overall sales as well.

India, according to IDC, is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world with a user base of 2.5 percent this year. The research firm expects the global share to increase to 8.5 percent by 2016.

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