Smartphones start to overtake feature phones in China

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China has over one-billion mobile phone users and for the first time they’re buying more smartphones than feature phones.

According to Tech in Asia, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a report detailing the number of mobile phones sold in the first half of 2012.

Of the 190-million phones sent out to retailers across the country, 107-million were 3G capable. Admittedly not all of those are smartphones. MIIT has however confirmed that feature phones were firmly in the minority of phones shipped in the first half of 2012.

In fact, smartphones now account for 59% of China’s mobile phone marketshare, with the vast majority of those being Android phones. According to MIIT, 822 new smartphone models hit the Chinese market in the past six months. Of those, a whopping 801 (more than 97%) were Android-based.

China has over 520-million internet users — and a third of them go online using their cellphones.

Globally there’s also been something a smartphone zeitgeist. Some 488-million smartphones shipped in 2011, representing a nearly 63% increase from 2010.

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