China crucial to Android

Almost two-thirds of the handsets sold in China in 2012 run on the Android OS and China is Google’s largest market for Android devices, according to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media. A third of Android handsets sold in 2012 were sold in China, figures from the research firm show.

The country is by far the fastest-growing smartphone market with a year-on-year growth of 85 per cent in 2012 and this growth is being driven by the explosive demand for Android phones.  Of the other major mobile platforms, Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Windows Phone hold minority shares of China’s total handset sales, with around five per cent and one per cent, respectively.

The US is the second-largest market for Android with an 11 per cent of devices sold share. Informa’s research anticipates that at least one in every two mobile phones sold in the US in 2013 will be powered by the platform.

“Despite the economic downturn, the global smartphone market is enjoying healthy growth and consumers are actually spending more to acquire more technologically-advanced devices,” said Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

He added that it is estimated that around 786 million smartphone devices were sold in 2012, which is 45 per cent more than the total number of smartphones sold in 2011.

“Looking forward, Android is expected to continue gaining market share globally and, by 2015, one in every two handsets sold worldwide will be powered by it,” added Saadi. “However, according to Informa Telecoms & Media, the market share of this platform could potentially peak – or even decline – after 2016 owing to a more aggressive penetration of the alternative OSs, most notably Windows Phone.”

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