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iPhone To Boost Chinese Smartphone Market

The iPhone arrival in China in the fourth quarter will "sound the starting gun" for smartphones in China, says market researcher iSuppli.
The arrival of Apple's iPhone in China in the fourth quarter will accelerate the smartphone market in the country, a market researcher says.

When China Unicom starts selling the iPhone, the wireless service provider will "sound the starting gun for China's smartphone market," Tina Teng, analyst for iSuppli, said.

"The arrival of the iPhone has compelled China Unicom's competitor China Mobile to introduce its own smart phone products and app store, helping to boost the market," Teng said in a statement released Thursday.

Smartphone shipments in China next year will increase by 42.5% to 30.2 million units from 21.2 million units this year, iSuppli predicts. That's the largest growth rate of any country tracked by the research firm.

China will continue leading all other global regions in smartphone shipments in the coming years. Driven by the deployment of 3G data networks in the country, smartphone shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 30.6% to reach 63.6 million units in 2013 from 16.7 million last year.

Globally, the smartphone market has been the one bright spot in the overall mobile phone market, which will decline of 12.3% this year from 2008, due to the economic recession, iSuppli said.

Smartphone shipments this year will increase 11.6% from last year to 184.2 million units, picking up steaming next year when shipments will increase by 27.9%, according to iSuppli. In 2011, shipments are predicted to increase by 41.8% to 334.1 million units.

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