Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Android controls more than 2/3 of Chinese smartphone market as of end of 2011: report

The world's largest mobile market has gone gaga over Android. The caveat, of course, is that the world's largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, has no official iPhone.

That said, Android was easily the top smartphone platform in China last year. Beijing-based research firm Analysys International said in a report on Tuesday that in terms of phones sold, at the end of 2011, Android had more than 2/3 of the Chinese smartphone market, with 68.4 percent. That is up from 33.6 percent at the end of Q1 2011.

Much of that overall gain of nearly 35 percent came at the expense of Nokia. Its Symbian OS based phones saw their market share cut by more than half, to 18.7 percent at the end of 2011.

Apple's iPhones are seeing strong demand in wealthier Chinese cities. That's not the case in most of China, though, as iOS only saw modest growth in 2011. It's market share rose from 4.1 percent in the Q1 2011 to 5.7 percent at the end of the year.

Avira 2012
There's the key point: you can't buy an iPhone on the cheap. Meanwhile, among others, local mobile device manufacturers ZTE and Huawei have partnered with carriers to offer cheap Android handsets, including on China Mobile.

It will be interesting to see if things change somewhat when the iPhone does eventually hit China Mobile, but cost will always be an issue with Android handsets, in general, much cheaper.

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