China will overtake the United States as the biggest market for
smartphones amid a surge in low-cost handsets, a survey said Thursday.
research firm IDC said China will account for 26.5 percent of all
smartphone shipments in 2012, compared to 17.8 percent for the United
"Looking ahead, the PRC smartphone market will continue to
be lifted by the sub-$200 Android segment," said Wong Teck-Zhung,
senior analyst at IDC.
"Near-term prices in the low-end segment
will come down to $100 and below as competition for market share
intensifies among smartphone vendors."
IDC said the move to 4G, or
faster mobile networks, is another major growth catalyst and that
growth is continuing in virtually all markets.
"The fact that
China will overtake the United States in smartphone shipments does not
mean that the US smartphone market is grinding to a halt," said IDC's
"Now that smartphones represent the majority of
mobile phone shipments, growth is expected to continue, but at a slower
pace. There is still a market for first-time users as well as thriving
IDC said it sees strong growth in India,
which has the lowest smartphone penetration in the Asia region as
operators roll out more affordable data plans and generous subsidies,
and that it would be the third largest market by 2016.
survey this week said smartphones are set to make up a majority of the
global handset market next year, fueled by surging demand from consumers
in both wealthy and emerging nations.