China’s ZTE Overtakes Apple in Global Phone Sales


Apple Business in China

Don’t underestimate the power of China when it comes to the cellphone market. ZTE, based in the populous Asian nation, became the world’s No. 4 maker of mobile phones, overtaking Apple, which held the spot in the previous three-month period.

During the third-quarter, ZTE shipped 18.5 million cell phones, a jump from 14 million devices during the same period in 2010, research firm Strategy Analytics announced Thursday. Falling to No. 5, Apple shipped 17.1 million iPhones, up from 14.1 million units in the third quarter of last year, but down from 20.34 million in the previous quarter.

According to the researchers, global cell phone shipments rose 14 percent annually to 390 million handsets. “ZTE’s growth is being driven by competitive pricing of entry-level models for feature phones and Android smartphones,” said senior analyst Alex Spector in a statement.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking to reporters at the tech giant’s most recent financial report, called China “an enormous opportunity.” One of every six dollars the tech giant earned during fiscal 2011 reportedly came from China sales.

The new research also indicated South Korean-based Samsung overtook Apple as the top-selling smartphone manufacturer in the third quarter. Some observers blame Apple’s drop in sales rankings on its delayed launch of the iPhone 4S, pushing sales figures into the fiscal fourth quarter or the first quarter of 2012.

  • larkforsure

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  • FriarNurgle

    China already rules the world. 

  • MediaUnbalance

    Umh Ed, it’s interesting you are using the 3rd quarter to do your comparison.  Do you think maybe the fact that everybody knew Apple was just about to release a new phone might have skewed the
    sales numbers slightly?

  • slackguy

    Once again (and I expect this from a lesser site, not CoM), journalists/bloggers are confusing “units shipped” with “units sold”…Apple SOLD 17.1 million phones last quarter…how many did Samsung or ZTE SELL? …..