By Kim Young-gyo
HONG KONG, May 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. boosted its share of the Chinese smartphone market in the first quarter, retaining the top-vendor status, a report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Woori Investment and Securities Co., Samsung claimed an estimated 28 percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the January-March period, up from 24 percent three months earlier.
Samsung's sales volume in the Chinese smartphone market, the world's biggest, grew to 9 million units last quarter from 6.7 million units in the October-December period.
Apple Inc.'s market share probably surged from 8 percent to 19 percent over the cited period as mobile carriers China Unicom and China Telecom rolled out the iPhone in the first quarter of 2012, the report said.
Apple's sales volume climbed from 2.1 million units to 6.2 million units, Woori Investment estimated.
China emerged as the largest smartphone market in the world in the first quarter. China's smartphone demand likely surged 156 percent on-year to 32 million units, or 22 percent of global smartphone shipments and around 30 percent of total handsets sold in China, the report said.
Samsung's success in China was attributed largely to the release of the high-end Galaxy S2 device and lower-priced smartphones. Samsung is set to release the Galaxy S3, the latest version of its flagship smartphone series, later this month