SINGAPORE - China is set to be the biggest smartphone market this year after shipments in the second-half of 2011 outstripped the US, a technology research firm said Friday.Figures by US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate China will account for 20.7 percent or almost 137 million units of the global smartphone market from 18.2 percent in 2011. In contrast, the US share of the overall market is expected to decline to 20.6 percent this year from 21.3 percent in 2011, said IDC, which is projecting 660 million smartphones will be shipped in 2012. “(China) smartphone shipments are expected to take a slim lead over the US in 2012 before the gap widens in the coming years,” said Wong Teck Zhung, IDC’s regional senior market analyst with the client devices team. “There will be no turning back this leadership changeover.”This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 17-Mar-2012 here.