The number of new smartphone activations in China is growing by staggering leaps and bounds. Though the country ranked in only 11th place at the start of 2011 in iOS and Android activations, it is now poised to gain the number one position and put the US at number two, according to data recently released by Flurry, the mobile analytics firm.
China also led in app session growth, increasing at a whopping 1,100 percent from last year. Pretty impressive, as China was already the world’s seventh largest country in terms of app growth in Q1 of 2011.
As of January of 2011, the US accounted for 28 percent of total iOS and Android device activations, while China accounted for 8 percent. China surpassed the US in February in monthly new iOS and Android activations for the first time in history to become the world’s fastest growing smartphone market. In March, Flurry projects that China will account for 24 percent of all iOS and Android devices, while the US will account for 21 percent. Note, Flurry projected the last several days of March in order to round out its figures.
“With China now activating more devices per month than the U.S., this means that the gap is closing between the two countries in terms of installed base,” Flurry stated in its report. “Not only is China already the second largest app economy, but also could eventually overtake the U.S. as the country with the largest installed base of smart device users. We estimate that the U.S., a more mature market, currently has more than twice as many active devices than China.”
Yet the sheer size of China makes it nothing less than a “mobile app dragon,” Peter Farango stated in Flurry’s blog.
“Whether studying China by existing app session generated or new demand for apps, the growth rates are similar,” Farango stated. “As one of the fastest modernizing and largest countries in the world, the adoption of mobile apps in China is unprecedented. For app developers, who more traditionally look at North America and Europe, China is a market too compelling to ignore. A new market has emerged, and China is the new mobile app dragon.”