SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. claimed the top spot in the Chinese smartphone market for the first time in 2012 by nearly tripling its sales in the world's largest market, industry data showed Sunday.
Samsung Electronics sold 30.06 million smartphones in China last year, up from 10.90 million units a year earlier, garnering a 17.7 percent market share, according to the data by market researcher Strategy Analytics.
Last year's market share represents a 5.3 percentage point increase from the previous year. It also marks the first time that Samsung Electronics has become the top smartphone seller in the Chinese market since it started selling the device in 2009.
Market watchers attributed Samsung's landmark market share to the company's global brand recognition and its efforts to boost cooperation with Chinese mobile operators.
According to the data, Nokia Corp. saw its market share tumble in China last year, while Chinese smartphone makers made strides.
The market share of Nokia, which held the top spot last year, nose-dived to 3.7 percent in 2012 from 29.9 percent a year earlier, ranking as the seventh-largest seller.
Chinese tech firm Lenovo emerged as the No. 2 smartphone seller with a market share of 13.2 percent last year, which was up from 4 percent from the previous year.
Apple Inc. followed with 11 percent, trailed by China's Huawei Technologies Co. with 9.9 percent and Chinese manufacturer Coolpad with 9.7 percent, according to the data.