Leading market research firm Canalys has released a report regarding smartphone shipment estimates by country for the first quarter of 2012. The report depicted quiet interesting results with an increase in the total shipments by 45% world wide but significant country and regional differences were pretty clear.
For the first time ever, smartphone shipments in China have exceeded US, doubling year after year. At present, China is the biggest smartphone market in the world with 22% of global smartphone shipments that has increased from 16% the previous year. On the other hand, US smartphone shipments have rose to a mere 5% per year accounting for 16% of global smartphone shipments at present.
Samsung has bagged the title of the new worldwide leader in smartphone sales and is the top manufacturer in China with a market share of 22% of all smartphones sold in China during Q1 2012. In spite of the fact that Apple had released iPhone 4S with two major Chinese carriers, only 19% of iPhones were sold in China in the first quarter.
Former world leader, Nokia, is in third position. However the Finnish giant will try to curb the present scenario in the second quarter, when Nokia’s Lumia devices will launch along with a couple of carriers. Following the league are ZTE, Lenovo, and Huawei with their lines of
inexpensive Android smartphones becoming highly popular in the Chinese market.
In the first quarter of 2012, over 66% of the smartphones sold in China
were running on Android
and since China is now the biggest Android smartphone market, it accounts for more than 25% of worldwide Android shipments. It is to be noted that Android is a completely different animal in China. Owing to the absence of the Google Play, several competitive third party app stores have cropped up.
Finally, the report depicts that online retail is gradually increasing in China all thanks to an increase in Internet access rates, as well as credit card ownership rates. The three major online retailers in China are 360buy.com, Taobao and Amazon. At the hardware level, manufacturers are offering a wide variety of Android smartphones with multiple price points. So to conclude, China, a country with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants and 1 billion plus mobile users has now become the biggest Android smartphone market in the world.