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China smartphone shipments set to hit 450 million in 2014

Total shipments to the country in 2013 are expected to reach 360 million, according to new data from IDC.

China's smartphone market is set for an explosion over the next year, according to new data from research firm IDC.

By the end of this year, total smartphone shipments in China will hit 360 million, according to data obtained by Reuters from IDC. Next year, that figure will rise to 450 million, making the country one of the most attractive (and competitive) in the world for smartphone makers.

IDC's data is based on two important factors: the Chinese government's decision to allow for 4G expansion around the country and the expectation that China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier, will be carrying the iPhone by the end of next year.

For the last year, China has been cropping up in more and more public company shareholder calls. From Apple to Samsung to LG, just about every company in the mobile space has made clear that China is an extremely important market. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, has spent considerable time in China this year reportedly wooing both wireless carriers and the government to help his company's chances in the country.

Still, Apple has some work cut out for it in China. During the second quarter, the company could only muster 5 percent market share, putting it in sixth place in the country. Samsung, Apple's arch-rival, led the Chinese market with 18.5 percent share, according to IDC.