updated 07:30 pm EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
China expected to hold dominant position
China is expected to outpace the US in domestic smartphone shipments before the end of the year, according to a report issued by research firm IDC. Users located throughout China are expected to account for 20.7 percent of global smartphone share, while the US is projected to slip slightly behind with 20.6-percent share.
The number of smartphone users in the US has continued to grow, and is expected to follow an upward trend, however the growth rate in emerging markets is said to be accelerating at a much faster pace.
China already started to outpace the US in terms of smartphone shipments in the second half of last year. The research firm expects the country to continue strengthening its lead at least through 2016, when the US is projected to slide to 15 percent as India rises to 9.3 percent.
Growth in emerging markets is expected to be further bolstered by low-cost Android handsets, including models released by China's own Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo brands. The iPhone has also proven popular in the region, however, despite its comparatively high price tag compared to budget smartphones.