China overtakes the US for new iOS & Android activations

March 21, 2012


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More Android and Apple smartphones and tables are activated in China each day than any other country in the world, according to the latest data from Flurry Mobile Analytics’ blog.

Flurry is the leader in mobile app analytics and claims its services are used on so many common apps that it can detect over 90% of  new app activations on a global scale.  So, by examining their entire data-set of over one billion anonymized app sessions across the world each day the company is able to examine the growth of the app market unlike any other.

While the US market has remained relatively steady over the past 15 months, the time period covered by Flurry’s data, China has seen steady growth since July 2011.

China overtakes us for smartphone activations

China overtakes us for smartphone activations. Credit: Flurry

As the US saw a decreasing number of device activations in the two months after the holidays, dropping from a 34% share to 22% share, China saw rapid growth in the same period, growing from a 17% share to a 23% share.  Flurry expects that this trend will continue and is projecting that the number of new activations in the US for the full month of March 2012 will fall to 21% while China will grow to 24%.

Looking at the number of already active smartphones and tablets Flurry says that the US still leads, thanks to the relative age of the market in the country.  The US currently has twice the number of active devices than China but China has now overtaken the UK as the country with the second largest population of smartdevices.

But, as Flurry reports, with over 1126% growth in the last year and a rising middle class it might not be too long before it overtakes the States.

China’s rising power as a mobile market was hinted at only two weeks ago when an Apple user in China downloaded iTunes’s 25 billionth app, winning himself a few nice prizes for his trouble.

But this is not to suggest that the US smartdevice/app markets are in trouble.  Both are still rapidly growing but not necessarily as fast as other countries.

Indeed, Flurry is quite optimistic about the state and future of the smartphone and app markets in the US and the world,

No matter how we slice it, the application market continues to grow at unprecedented rates, and increasingly across more borders.  With smart devices adoption rates more than four times greater than those witnessed during the 1980s PC revolution and twice as great as those seen during the 1990s Internet Boom, no other consumer technology has been more accessible than smart device application software.  It’s literally taking over the world.

With over one billion citizens it is not surprising that China has overtaken the US both in terms of scale and growth rate but it is somewhat surprising that it would happen so soon in the smartphone/tablet/app industry’s development.


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Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain is marketing and sales head at Octal Info Solution, a leading iPhone app development company and offering platform to hire Android app developers for your own app development project. He is available to connect on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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