Chinese mobile subscriptions top 1.1 billion, 49 million smartphones sold in Q3 2012

December 3, 2012
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    China. The land of cheap knock-off electronic devices, but also one of the world’s booming economies and the clear leader of the “mobile revolution”. Also, at least for us here at Android Authority, one of the greatest sources of impressive reports on the growing global mobile phone market.

    In fact, we’ve heard about so many remarkable numbers coming from down there lately that we were just about to say nothing can surprise us anymore. Just about, because two new reports, coming from Analysys International and China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), manage to do exactly that – surprise and impress us.

    The former is actually a part two of a report we’ve already talked about a couple of weeks back and that said Android’s market share in China topped 90% (up from 58% last year). Now we’re getting some more specific numbers from Analysys, according to which there have been 49.17 million smartphones sold in China during the third fiscal quarter of 2012, which is up 28.7% since Q2 and 121% (!!!) year-on-year.

    Meanwhile, feature phones continue to be on a downward spiral, though they still managed to outsell smartphones. 63.73 million units were shipped in China between July and September of this year, which is down 4.1% on quarter and 7.5% on year.

    We should note that, if this trend keeps its form, we will most likely see smartphones outselling “dumb” devices as soon as Q4 2012, even if only by a whisker.

    As for MIIT’s report, this once again confirms the exceeding of a billion mobile communication subscriptions in China – this time, by almost 100 million (95, to be more exact). Interestingly, the Ministry’s press release talks about subscribers and not subscriptions, which would mean a whopping 80.6% of the country’s population own cellphones.

    The numbers account for the end of October and mark a .98% gain in number of subscribers from September and 13.63% increase over October of 2011. Among the 1.1 billion cellphone users, only around 212 million (19.39%) are on 3G, which is one of the very few not-so-impressive figures of this report. Fixed telephone service is not in great demand either, with only 280.34 million people using landlines these days (21% penetration rate).

    Meanwhile, during the same month of October the 1.1 billion mobile subscribers in China sent 71.83 billion text messages, or 2.13 per phone number a day. How about that for stunning numbers?

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