Over 75 million smartphones sold in China in just one quarter

There were 75.28 million smartphones sold in China during the first quarter of 2013, the equivalent of more than three times the population of Australia, according to new figures by Analysys International.

The figures, republished in DigiTimes, show the rate of smartphone sales increased 32.2% sequentially and 141.5% year on year in the world’s largest smartphone and mobile phone market.

Including feature phones, a total of 90.54 million mobile phones were sold during the quarter in China, representing a growth rate of 23.5% sequentially and 34.8% year-on-year.

China’s largest smartphone vendor by volume was Samsung, claiming 17.3% marketshare.

The top five vendors were rounded out by Lenovo (13.1%), Coolpad (10.3%), Huawei (10.1%) and ZTE (6.9%).

Apple fell outside the top five, claiming a paltry 6.4% of China’s smartphone market, ahead of K-Touch (4.1%), GiONEE (3.8%), HTC (3.1%) and OPPO (2.9%).

The worldwide smartphone market reached 216.2 million units during the first quarter of 2013 according to IDC figures, meaning that China accounted for more than one-third (34.8%) of the worldwide market for smartphones.

As SmartCompany reported in February, figures from Sand Hill Insights show that while China boasts just over 1.12 billion mobile users, just 22% use 3G networks. The figures also show tremendous potential growth for low-end smartphone manufacturers, with a further 873.5 million users yet to upgrade.

The world’s largest mobile phone carrier, China Mobile, has around 95.0 million 3G users. However, the carrier also has the lowest 3G conversion rate, with just 13% of its 715 million subscribers (representing 64% of the 3G market) on 3G.

Second placed in the Chinese market is China Unicom, with 22% marketshare and 242.9 million subscribers overall. Its 3G penetration has grown to 33%, or 162.8 million users.

Third placed China Telecom claims 15% marketshare with a relatively paltry 162.8 million subscribers, but a much higher 44% 3G penetration rate, with 90.7 million 3G users in total.

Meanwhile, in late January, Apple chief executive Tim Cook met Cook met with China Mobile’s chairman Xi Guohua to negotiate the release of Apple iPhone on China Mobile’s network.

While the iPhone is available in China through China Mobile’s competitors, including China Unicom and China Telecom, negotiations with China Mobile have stalled for years over revenue-sharing between the two companies.

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