Samsung shows how to tap the mobile market in China

Samsung was the top-selling smartphone manufacturer in China in the first quarter of 2013, according to estimates from Strategy Analytics, moving a whopping 12.5 million of the gadgets. Huawei finished a distant second during the quarter with 8.1 million smartphones sold, while sixth-place Apple sold only 6.1 million iPhones during the period. Those estimates were first reported by the Korea Herald and come from private Strategy Analytics reports for clients only.

Samsung is the dominant smartphone vendor worldwide, as my colleague Kevin C. Tofel recently reported, and last year the Korean firm ascended to the top of the booming Chinese market. But while Samsung’s sales in the West have been driven largely by its line of Galaxy smartphones, its success in China has been driven by less expensive Android handsets. And while competition at that level is sure to heat up as local vendors such as Lenovo and ZTE churn out more affordable smartphones, there will be ample opportunity for multiple players as the world’s biggest smartphone market continues to explode over the next few years.