Over the past few years, China has quickly become one of the largest consumers of smart devices. The iPhone is incredibly popular in the country, and cheap Android devices are obviously very popular as well. Despite that, the U.S. still held the lead as having the most activated smart devices.
Flurry, a mobile analytics company, released new numbers today which says China will surpass the U.S. in total smart device activations at the end of February. Using its tracking technology, Flurry was able to determine that China, if its growth continues like it has in the past, will have 246 million smart devices compared to the United States’ 230 million.
Will there be any way for the U.S. to catch back up after losing out to China later this month? No, at least according to Flurry’s statistics. The U.S. will hit a population barrier way before China ever does, and China has a quickly growing middle class that will be in the market for new smart devices for years to come.
Of course, all of this doesn’t mean that China will remain unchallenged in the world of smart device activations. India poses a small threat to China’s dominance with its massive population of 1.2 billion people. Flurry points out, however, that India only has 19 million smart device activations at this point, and the country doesn’t have the same middle class growth spurt that China is now experiencing.
In short, nobody will reasonably challenge China’s smart device dominance anytime soon, but there are countries experiencing massive growth in the proliferation of smart devices. China was number one in growth last year according to Flurry’s numbers, but now it’s in sixth place. Taking the number one spot this year is Colombia, followed by Vietnam, Turkey, the Ukraine and Egypt in that order.
With growth like this, it becomes obvious why companies like Mozilla and Canonical want to get into the smartphone business. These emerging markets are looking for entry smart devices that most of the major smartphone manufacturers can’t capitalize on without making some major concessions in regards to build quality or feature sets. Apple is rumored to be making a cheaper iPhone for these markets, and you can expect other OEMs to start making more entry level Android devices for these markets as well.