China Shows It’s a Smartphone Superpower

Published On March 13, 2013 | Mobile

While the United States has undoubtedly paved the way in terms of LTE technology, it’s not the only country whose residents are impatiently waiting to get their hands on the newest high-tech gadgets. Most people think of countries such as Japan and Korea when it comes to a bustling electronics industry, but it might surprise some people to realize that China is actually up and coming, too.

In fact, China is soon expected to become the largest market for cell phones in the world, passing even the United States.

The numbers are quite astonishing. Just last month, both China and the United States saw activations of more than 200 million devices. This includes both Android and Apple phones. Surveys haven’t compared other smartphones, like those from BlackBerry or Windows, but Apple and Google have been going head to head for some time to prove worthiness as the leader of smartphone sales.

Estimates put the numbers for February as high as 246 million phones, despite the short month. Analysts say American sales will grow, but not quite as fast as those in China. The trend does not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. For the past year, cell phone sales in the United States have been increasing at a slower pace than the previous year. In comparison, China’s phone sales have seen steady growth for the past two years. In fact, while American cell phone sales have sales dips, like those in fall 2011, China’s sales have remained almost completely consistent on an upward trend.

The only thing that might be surprising about these numbers is that it’s taken China quite so long to catch up to the red, white and blue. China’s population has about four times the population of the United States, and now that consumers are focused on smartphone technology, sales in China are expected to continue to climb steadily. The United States is unlikely to regain its foothold, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the American market becomes more saturated with smartphones.

Both countries have a staggering lead over the nations of the United Kingdom, which is the third-most popular region for smartphone activations. Great Britain saw just 43 million activations last month, while South Korea and Japan lagged behind in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

However, none of those countries are actually the fastest-growing nations when it comes to adopting cell phone technology. Those titles go to Columbia and Vietnam, both of which saw over 260 percent growth between 2012 and 2013. Some of the countries that the general public could consider least likely to experience exponential growth in the smartphone markets have been taking the industry by storm.

Of course, the first few months in the year aren’t typically the busiest for Americans. Consumers are coming down from Christmas and end-of-the-year shopping, and holidays such as Easter or Memorial Day aren’t the type on which consumers exchange gifts. However, new releases from Apple and other manufacturers as the year goes on may temporarily stimulate smartphone purchases in the United States, which tends to see new releases earlier than other countries.

— By Editor



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