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Smartphones Concentrated Among the Wealthy in China

China will overtake the US as the largest market for smartphones in 2012, driven by demand among the affluent

According to a March 2012 report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone shipments in China will surpass those in the US during 2012. IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker” data forecasts China to have a 20.7% share of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2012, compared to 20.6% for the US.

But who is buying these smartphones?

According to Q1 2012 data from Ohio-based research firm ProsperChina’s InsightCenter, which conducts a quarterly survey of a panel of approximately 16,000 internet users in China, smartphone users resemble the survey sample in terms of both gender and age, but index significantly higher among wealthier internet users.

Smartphone owners self-reported an average income of RMB80,825 ($12,511.7) per year, compared to RMB67,551 ($10,456.8) for the total panel.

This data is not entirely surprising considering smartphones’ high cost. Only a few smartphones sold in China have been priced under RMB1,000 ($154.8), largely considered the threshold to reach a larger base of consumers in the country.

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Check out today’s other articles, “New Dads Are Big-Time Social Media Users” and “Companies Incorporate Social Media Monitoring into Bottom Line.”

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