Strategy Analytics: Samsung dominates Chinese smartphone market in Q1

Samsung Electronics maintained its momentum in the Chinese smartphone market by shipping 12.5 million smartphones there in the first quarter, capturing 18.5 percent of the market, according to data from research firm Strategy Analytics.

The data, which does not appear to be public, was first reported by the Korea Herald. It shows that Samsung boosted its smartphone market share in China 2.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012.

"Samsung has a good distribution network with retailers in China. It can provide a bunch of smartphones in multiple areas in China," Strategy Analytics analyst Woody Oh told IDG News Service, noting that the first quarter marked first time Samsung shipped more than 10 million smartphones to China in a single quarter. "Samsung has also been putting a lot of resources to customizing its applications in China."

Oh also attributed Samsung's success to an "efficient supply chain, sleek products, and crisp marketing."

China is regarded by many analyst firms as the largest single smartphone market globally, surpassing the United States. However, average selling prices in China are much lower than in the U.S. market or other Western markets, and Oh noted that most of Samsung's 12.5 million shipments to China were for its low-end to mid-tier smartphones.

The Strategy Analytics' data gave Huawei 8.1 million smartphone shipments in China in the first quarter, good for the No. 2  spot and surpassing Lenovo's 7.9 million shipments. Coolpad shipped 7 million smartphones in China for No. 4 and ZTE had 6.4 million for No. 5, according to the research firm. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) took the No. 6 spot with an estimated 6.1 million iPhones shipped.

Overall, according to the research firm, 67.4 million smartphones were sold in China during the first quarter, representing 32 percent of all global smartphone shipments during the period. For companies that sell the majority of their handsets and smartphones in China, Samsung's presence not only cuts into their sales but into their ability to use China as a launching pad for further global expansion.

Earlier this month the NPD Group predicted that shipments of smartphones will overtake those of basic and feature phones for the first time this year, at 51.3 percent of all handset sales. NPD's report echoes one from March from research firm IDC, which estimated that vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, or 50.1 percent of the total mobile phone shipments worldwide. Both reports highlight the growth of smartphone sales in markets such as China and the declining average selling price of smartphones over time to under $200 on an unsubsidized basis.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article
- see this Korea Herald article
- see this The Next Web article
- see this CNET article

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Report: Smartphone shipments to outpace feature phones for first time in 2013
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