China Smartphone Shipments Pass Those of US

In the second quarter China took over the position once held by the US as the world’s top smartphone market, with 33.1 million handsets in shipments, more than the 25 million handsets shipped in the US.

Since the start of the second quarter China’s smartphone shipments have passed those of conventional mobile phones. In June smartphones accounted for 56.9% of China’s mobile phone market.

The explosive growth is attributed to the introduction of budget-priced smartphones made possible by a sharp drop in hardware costs. Smartphones priced below 1,000 yuan ($157) cost less than 400 yuan ($63) to produce, according to Southern Daily.

Budget smartphones flooded the market during the first half of this year after China Unicom introduced them in the second half of last year, prompting China Mobile and China Telecom follow suit.

China’s smartphone shipments in the first quarter skyrocketed 164% over the same period of last year to 33.1 million handsets, according to data from the US-based asset-management firm Needham & Company.