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Android cements Chinese dominance: has 140m users

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China has, at present, 390-million mobile internet users among its billion-strong phone subscribers. And now new data for 2012 Q3 from Beijing-based mobile analytics startup Umeng claims that, among all those mobile users, Chinese consumers have snapped up just over 200-million iPhones and Android smartphones. Of those, 60-million are iPhones, and 140-million of them are Android-powered devices.

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The researchers reckon that 200-million figure has rocketed up from a mere 87-million iOS and Android phones in China in 2012 Q1. Though these stats are not based on sales figures, it’s good to have a reasonable sounding figure for only Apple’s and Google’s mobile OSes as they ascend to replace the outdated Symbian and JAVA-based touchscreens. Here’s the key graph for the Q2-to-Q3 explosion in just iPhones and Androids:

That stellar growth is sort of backed up by Canalys’ recent finding that smartphone sales were up 199 percent in China this year, with 42-million shipped in the country in Q2 alone. Of course, that stat doesn’t fully satisfy the larger leap that the Umeng stats claim, and it’s worth noting that the data is based on observed usage of certain apps on Umeng’s network, not of shipped/sold phones.

Of all those shipping smartphones in China, the top four were all predominantly makers of Android phones, and the fifth in the line-up was Apple itself, so it’s clear iOS and Android are seeing insane growth. This is proving to be the dawn of a heyday for Chinese-brand smartphone makers like Lenovo and Huawei.

China’s smartphone market is far from sated, with still hundreds of millions of people ripe for upgrading to smartphones as wages rise and the prices of (some) devices drop. That’s a major force behind Android’s growth as it now dominates in China.

This article by Steven Millward originally appeared on Tech in Asia and is republished with permission.

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