IDC issued a report this week stating that China’s smartphone shipments for Q1 2013 leaped 117 percent compared to Q1 2012, with total shipments reaching 78 million.

As for vendor market share, IDC states that Samsung sits at first place with a market share of 19 percent, while its global rival Apple clocks in at number 5 with a share of 9 percent. Samsung’s dominance in China is well-established, IDC attributes Samsung’s success in the country to its local emphasis on pushing mid-tier devices, noting that its products priced under $200 experienced growth of 47 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Antonio Wang, Associate Director of Computing Systems Research Group of IDC China, states:

In China’s smartphone market, Samsung has switched its marketing focus from competing with Apple for high-end market to maintaining its high-end market share, and is starting to strive for market for products under USD 200, which has so far been dominated by domestic brands.

Though it’s yet to outrank Samsung in overall market share, Apple is seeing sales of its iPhone 4 soar in China, with the device growing a whopping 211 percent compared to the previous quarter. This indicates that its strategy of selling older phones at a discounted price in emerging markets is succeeding. This should bode well for Apple if speculation of a forthcoming cheaper iPhone proves to be true.

IDC notes that with the exception of Huawei, domestic manufacturers experienced no notable growth in Q1 2013, though no exact figures were given.

The report also includes several predictions for the future of China’s mobile phone market.

In particular, IDC expects that smartphones with screens sized upwards of 5-inches will occupy 20 percent of the smartphone market by the end of the year. This trend is attributed to the popularity of Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note devices. In addition, the research firm anticipates that shipments of 4G phones will exceed shipments of 3G phones by 2017.

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