China has surpassed the U.S. last quarter to become the world’s largest market for smartphones, according to a report by Strategy Analytics.
In the third quarter of this year, smartphone shipments were just shy of 24 million units, up 58%, according to the report released Wednesday. In the same quarter, smartphone units shipped in the U.S. fell 7% to 23.3 million units.
Nokia leads the smartphone market with a 28% share in China, followed by Samsung with a 17.6% share. HTC is the top maker in the U.S. with 24% market share, followed by Apple with just over 20%, according to the report. The U.S. still leads the world in smartphone sales by revenue, the authors of the report note.
Smartphones are the latest industry in which China’s huge population base and growing economic fortunes are leading sales that outstrip the U.S., the world’s number one economy. Auto sales in China surpassed the U.S. in 2009 for the first time, with 13.5 million sold compared to 10.4 million the same year in the U.S.
Beer sales in China passed the U.S. in 2002, while China passed the U.S. as the world’s top buyer of energy-related commodities – such as oil and coal – in 2009, according to the International Energy Agency.
China now has half a billion people online, according to the State Council Information Office, or nearly two-thirds more people using the internet than the entire population of the U.S.
Economists widely predict the Chinese economy will eventually eclipse the U.S. economy sometime in the next 20 years. In 2010, China’s GDP was about $5.9 trillion compared to the U.S., whose total economic output was $14.5 trillion.
The US Congress moved closer to punishing China for allegedly manipulating its currency, as a key committee of the House of Representatives voted to advance legislation that could