China May Have More Smart Devices, but It’s Not the Fastest Growing Market

There is no doubt that the iOS and Android platforms are the most used mobile operating systems today.  But did you know that China now has more Android and iOS users compared to the US?

Flurry Analytics released its latest report regarding smart device activity and revealed that of the 2.4 billion anonymous, aggregated application sessions per day across more than 275,000 applications around the world, it tracked, smart device activation in China will overtake that of the US by the end of February 2013.

In January 2013, the US has 222 million active smart devices installed while China wasn’t far behind with 221 million.  According to Flurry, by the end of February, China will have 246 million devices, surpassing the US’ 230 million.  And it doesn’t seem like the US smart device market will be taking back the lead anytime soon — since China has a bigger population than the US, it has a one billion lead over the US.  The market that could potentially overtake China in the future is India with it 1.2 billion population.  Unfortunately, that won’t happen anytime soon seeing that India only has 19 million active smart devices at present.

This is not entirely surprising since last year, Flurry revealed that China was the world’s fastest growing smart device market based on the number of iOS and Android devices being activated per month as well as the high percentage of app sessions.

Though China may have been the fastest growing market for smart devices last year, that’s no longer true today.  Still, it “commanded an impressive 209 percent rate of growth on top of a base of 71 million devices from January 2012.”  Columbia, Vietnam, Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt made China’s growth look minute as the five markets experience outstanding growth rate between January 2012 to January 2013 at 278 percent, 266 percent, 247 percent, 237 percent and 211 percent respectively.

“In this new era of mobile computing, sparked by a confluence of powerful innovation across microprocessors, cloud storage and network speeds, Apple and Google have helped create the fastest adopted technology revolution in history, 10X faster than that of the PC Revolution and 3X that of the Internet Boom,” Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, said.  “And now, as the largest and fastest modernizing country in the world, Chinese consumers lead that revolution.”

Google’s edge

Android’s popularity in China is a no brainer.  It’s an open source platform and there are many Chinese OEMs such as Lenovo, Huawei, TCL and ZTE that offers Android phones in the Chinese market.  Most Android OEMs produce smartphones that are a bit too pricey, but with local manufacturers offering Android devices, shifting from feature phones to smartphones no longer becomes such a tedious and expensive task.

Apple’s edge

Though Apple’s iPhones and iPads are a bit expensive compared to Android devices, they have been doing pretty well in the Chinese market.  It might be because of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s presence in China from his multiple visits to the country to talk with executives from China Mobile, China and the world’s largest wireless carrier to offer even more affordable payment plans for the iDevices.  The iPhone 5 sold over two million units during its first weekend sale in China and even the iPad mini was greatly in demand.