China overtakes U.S. as world's largest smartphone market

For the first time ever, smartphone shipments in China surpassed those in the United States, making China the world's largest smartphone market by volume. However, the U.S. still remains the largest smartphone market by revenue.

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments in China reached 23.9 million units in the third quarter, an increase of 58 percent sequentially. In contrast, smartphone shipments in the U.S. fell 7 percent sequentially to reach 23.3 million units.

The research firm said that China's rapid growth has been driven by the increasing availability of smartphones in retail channels and aggressive subsidizing by operators of high-end models like the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. China also has a large number of low-cost Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones from local brands such as ZTE.

Device maker Nokia dominates the Chinese market with 28.7 percent market share, while HTC leads in the U.S. with 24 percent market share, only slightly higher than Apple, which commands 20 percent market share.

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