China overtook the United States as the world’s largest smartphone market by volume in the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.
Sales of multifunction devices increased 58% in China to reach a record of 23.9 million units. Meanwhile, sales in the U.S. declined 7% to 23.3 million handsets.
The market research firm attributes the increase observed in China to high discounts by operators, as well as the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and some models at low prices, including those made by the Chinese ZTE and with the operating system Google Android.
However, China could not keep its new status long ago, analysts blaming the slowdown in the U.S. is because American consumers expect the next version of the iPhone.
Accordingly, the United States could reduce the gap this quarter, said analyst Linda Sui from Strategy Analytics.