back to article China ready to slap down US in smartphone wars

In another sign of the shifting balance of power on the global technology stage, China is set to steam ahead of the US to become the leading market for smartphone shipments in 2012, while the UK will be overtaken by India and Brazil by 2016, according to analyst IDC. The firm’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker …


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  1. LarsG

    looks like

    We may have to start waiting for new models when they are released.

    Oh I forgot.... Is that happening now?

  2. Jeebus

    Places with massive populations are growing consumers.


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Population size

    Is this really surprising?

    Brazil and India have bigger populations than the UK. (3 times and 18 times)

    China has a bigger population than the US (4 times)

    Just about no phone company makes "dumb" phones any more, and within a year or so I suspect it will be impossible to find a teleco offering anything that isn't a smart phone or a related device (slate, tablet etc.).

    So by definition they will over take us, and its nothing to do with us being technologically backwards or them suddenly becoming more technologically advanced.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Just about no phone company makes "dumb" phones any more


      I take it you haven't seen the £6 ones in Tesco's?

      I have a "dumb" Samsung next to me, the wife has a "dumb" Nokia (who by the way still make way more dumb ones than smart ones.

      Of course definition of dumb is subjective. As my dumb phone has a 1 month standy by, several hours talk time, never drops a call, has great voice quality and hardly ever has no signal, how dumb is it?

      1. David Perry 2

        Re: Just about no phone company makes "dumb" phones any more

        When my faithful T630 died suddenly a couple of years ago, just as I was about to do 48hrs of heavy travel, I spent £25 on a K330 - brilliant phone, built in camera for reference shots and £10 of that went on £10 voda credit! Not that I used it, bought it from Carphone Warehouse and as the phones come unlocked shoved my o2 contract sim in. It's been leant out a few times to people when their smartphones (mainly sony ericsson units) have been in for repair. And if my iPhone blew up it would become a usable temporary phone. Shame there's no support for syncML (o2 bluebook gets my numbers backed up to it via that) on it but maybe a java app would fix that.

      2. Audrey S. Thackeray

        @Lost all faith

        What model is that Samsung?

        I'm looking for a calls-&-text phone with good battery life.

    2. Doug Glass

      Re: Population size

      Hey hotshot, Pantech Hotshot.

  4. Ian Michael Gumby

    But what percentage of their smart phone users have indoor plumbing?

    Didn't El Reg just run a story about the percentage of Indian smartphone owners who have a phone but not indoor plumbing?

    I would also imagine the same to hold true for China as well...

    Sherlock Holmes for obvious reasons.


  5. Lars Silver badge

    Came to think of IT

    I would probably rather have a outside toilet and a mobile phone than just an inside toilet.

    I am sure my daughter would agree, a bit unsure about my wife.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indoor plumbing, outdorr plumbing and phones

      I'd rather not have a phone at all.

      Don't give a crap about type of crapper.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Indoor plumbing, outdorr plumbing and phones

        Apparently, I don't give a crap about spelling either...

  6. Doug Glass

    Texting Chinese ...

    ... is not so bad, but Chinese arithmetic on a phone just 很爛

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wong Teck Zhung says

    "there will be no turning back", I must have heard identical comments in history books. British Empire ruling the world, the unstoppable march of the Soviets, well, the Germans had more than one shot not long either.

    And don't forget the Romans ;)

  8. Blunderbuss

    Nice angle

    When Britain or the US buy way more of some shiny toy than everyone else the headlines scream about our evil consumerism and how bad it is for the world + dog etc.

    Now the emerging countries are jumping on the bandwagon the tone of the article is such that we are made to feel somehow lacking as we are not consuming as much as they are?

    Should I feel guilty or pleased Britain is slipping back in its ravenous desire for disposeable tech?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Nice angle

      That was pretty much my impression of the article too.

      Something else missed in the article. UK & USA are probably saturated. Very few first time buyers and maybe the recession is affecting upgrades. Whereas Brazil, India and China are not just growing economies but many of the buyers there will be first timers.

      Megaphone because...well....bleedin' obvious really.

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  10. Wile E. Veteran

    This is news because...?

    China has a population _an order of magnitude_ bigger than the US. Even with a smaller percentage of the population able to buy them, that's still a lot more potential customers.

    Besides, the US market is saturated and most of the sheep, er, customers are glued to their little smartphones and tablets watching streaming of network TV episodes and movies (at a much higher cost than they could have seen them in the first place).

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