China will account for 26.5 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2012, according to IDC. The former top smartphone market, the United States, will account for 17.8 percent.
The analyst group believes the Chinese market is being driven by sub-US$200 Android devices and expects prices to fall below $100 as competition, particularly from domestic vendors, intensifies.
India, Brazil and Russia are singled out by IDC as future smartphone markets to watch. As shown in the graph below, India and Brazil (surprisingly Russia is not included on graph) are expected to catch up and overtake the UK (Europe’s strongest smartphone market) by 2016.
In a previous forecast of global smartphone sales, IDC estimated that 686 million smartphones would ship worldwide in 2012 – that’s 38.4 percent of all mobile phones (61.6 percent will be feature phones). According to mobiThinking’s arithmetic that means that 182 smartphones will ship in China this year.
That’s certainly a lot of smartphones, but this is a market of over one billion mobile subscribers, so the vast majority of Chinese consumers will be using a feature phone for the foreseeable future – which makes it all the more remarkable that there are already more than 400 million mobile Web users in China (Check out those amazing Chinese mobile numbers).
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