China world’s top smartphone market with Samsung in lead

Samsung grabs the biggest share of the market, as China overtakes the US to be the world's biggest smartphone market by volume. SAMSUNG has extended its lead as the biggest player in the Chinese smartphone market, which is now the world’s largest, according to new figures.

Research from Strategy Analytics released yesterday found that the Korean manufacturer had an 18.5 per cent share of the market in the first quarter of 2013, with its global rival Apple in sixth place.

Samsung sold 12.5m smartphones in the period, compared to second-placed Huawei’s 8.1m and Lenovo’s 7.9m, while household names like Nokia and BlackBerry made very little impact. Apple sold 6.1m smartphones, behind the likes of Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Coolpad, as it conquered the high end of the market, although its prices are out of the reach of most consumers in China.

In total, Chinese smartphone sales were 67.4m, accounting for almost a third of the market. The country has recently become the biggest market by volume, if not by revenue, and sales have enabled the likes of Lenovo and Huawei to plan ambitious expansions into western markets.