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Samsung King of China Smartphone Market in 2012 – Apple Back in Top 5

by Todd Haselton | March 11, 2013March 11, 2013 10:30 am PDT


China’s smartphone market is currently a battleground as smartphone makers fight one another to earn market share in the world’s largest wireless market. Samsung has the crown for now as the largest seller of smartphones in the country, according to new research published by Strategy Analytics on Monday, and Apple made its way back into the top five.

The research firm found that Samsung sold 30 million smartphones in China last year, three times as many as it sold in 2011 and representing a 17.7 percent market share. Lenovo came in second place with a 13.2 percent share, followed by Apple with an 11 percent share of China’s smartphone market. Huawei and Coolpad pulled up the rear with a 9.9 percent and a 9.7 percent share, respectively.

The data matches up relatively well with a similar report from November, which found that Samsung was the lead smartphone maker followed by Lenovo, Coolpad, ZTE and Huawei. However, this report suggests that Apple has regained ground into the top 5 smartphone makers, now ahead of Huawei and Coolpad and knocking ZTE out of the top five.

Yonhap News, which covered the report, said China’s smartphone market grew 5.3 percentage points over 2011.

A report published by Analysys International in November found that 90% of the smartphones sold in China run Google’s Android operating system, a stark contrast from the 56.1 percent share it has globally. Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a report addressing its concerns over the popularity of Android and a possible over-reliance on Google’s mobile OS, although today’s figures suggest that Android is here to stay.

Perhaps Apple’s pending deal with China Mobile will decrease the reliance on Android a bit, especially if Apple introduces the oft-rumored “budget iPhone” on that carrier, although we don’t see Android slowing down anytime soon.

Yonhap News

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...