The latest research from market research outfit Strategy Analytics has found that 24 million smartphones were sold in China in the third quarter, outstripping the United States for the first time.
The shift in market size is a combination of a massive 58 per cent growth in smartphone take up in the middle kingdom while smartphone sales fell 7 per cent in the US.
"China’s rapid growth has been driven by an increasing availability of smartphones in retail channels, aggressive subsidizing by operators of high-end models like the Apple iPhone, and an emerging wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands such as ZTE," said Strategy Analytics director Tom Kang.
Interestingly, Nokia is the biggest smartphone brand in China with 28 per cent market share while Chinese manufacturer HTC is the biggest single brand in the US with 24 per cent share by volume.
However in terms of value, the US is still the largest single market in the world – likely due to all those reassuringly expensive iPhones and high-end Android devices. That said, China has also been a spectacular growth region for high end devices too.
"China is now at the forefront of the worldwide mobile computing boom. China has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore."