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China smartphone shipments to rise to 460 million by 2017: IDC

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's smartphone shipments are expected to rise sharply to 460 million by 2017 and will make up nearly all mobile phone sales, research firm IDC said, as increasingly wealthy consumers opt for more feature-filled phones.

China has more than 1 billion mobile phone subscribers, with many switching from low-end feature phones to smartphones in the past few years as prices become more affordable with some smartphones selling for less than 1,000 yuan ($160) apiece.

Handset vendors, such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Apple Inc, ZTE Corp, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and others, shipped a total of 213 million smartphones in 2012, more than double 2011 figures, according to IDC.

No rankings of top smartphone vendors in China were immediately available from IDC analysts.

Smartphones made up almost 58.8 percent of total handsets shipped in China in 2012, with the figure expected to rise to 78.4 percent in 2013 and 90.1 percent in 2017, IDC said.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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