The iPhone maker can celebrate a boost to its market share in the fastest evolving market in the world. Samsung, however, has the lead according to the latest Canalys report.
In the first quarter of this year, Apple accounted for a 19 per cent market share, following closely behind Samsung's 22 per cent. Nicole Peng, Canalys Research Director for China, has found two reasons for Apple's rapid growth in the last three months: the Lunar New Year, which means a holiday shopping frenzy in China, and the iPhone's availability on the two top Chinese carriers.
Nokia also regained some traction in the Chinese market after the Lumia range was released here. The Finnish phone maker has dropped to third place in the smartphone hierarchy.
The local smartphone brands like ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo are on the rise however. China has become the most important market in the world for smartphone companies.
Canalys' report reveals that worldwide smartphone shipments in the first 2012 quarter have reached 146 million units, which means a 45 per cent year-on-year growth. In the US the industry grew by 5 per cent.
Comparatively, the Asia Pacific region had a 81 per cent year-on-year growth. Apple is expected to sell even more in this market next year, iPhone shipment estimates being at 35 million handsets.