Handsets are displayed in a store. [CFP]
China overtook the United States for the first time as the largest smartphone market by shipments in the third quarter, with more low-cost smartphone models entering the market, according to a latest industry report.
China's exports of smartphones jumped 58 percent from the second quarter to 23.9 million units while the United States shipped 23.3 million units, a quarterly drop of 7 percent, US research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics said in a research report yesterday.
Nokia still dominated the domestic market as it shipped 6.8 million units in the three months ended September 30, accounting for 28.5 percent of China's total shipments.
"The rapid growth in China was driven by an increasing availability of smartphones in retail channels and aggressive subsidies offered by operators for high-end models like Apple's iPhone," Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics, said in the report.
The availability of more low-cost models running on Google's Android operating system from local manufacturers such as ZTE also boosted the market, he added.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said that "It (China) has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore."