Manufacturers shipped more smartphones to China than to the US during the first quarter of 2012, the first time that has happened, according to research firm Canalys.
China accounted for 22 per cent of global shipments compared with the 16 per cent of the US, where smartphone shipments rose five per cent during the period. By contrast, Asia-Pacific shipments climbed 81 per cent, and Chinese shipments doubled.
Two-thirds of Chinese smartphones run Google’s Android operating system, and South Korea’s Samsung is the No. 1 smartphone brand in the world’s most populous nation.
Apple’s pricey iPhone, however, is making strong inroads as consumers, backed by rising wages, look to acquire the global must-have item.
"As well as seasonal factors, such as the Lunar New Year, the iPhone's arrival at two of the country's carriers helped boost volume and raised Apple's share to 19 per cent," said Canalys research director Nicole Peng.
Apple’s share of the market could surge when it finally concludes a deal with the biggest mobile operator, China Mobile. The Chinese firm’s homegrown standard doesn’t work with the latest iPhone models.
Research firm said in a report last November that China had become the world’s biggest smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011.
By Bei Hua