Android is on the rise in China. While the smartphone market in the country is currently under 20% of total mobile devices as of earlier this year, smartphones are certainly a fast-growing segment. In the third quarter of 2012, Android smartphones have accounted for 90.1% of the market, which includes smartphone sales and ownership.

A few takeaways:

  • The popularity of Android is due to its low average cost.
  • The smartphone market has grown almost 200% since 2011.
  • 500 million smartphones are expected to be in the market by end 2013.

This is certainly amazing growth for the platform in the region. In the previous quarter, Android’s market share was 82.8%, and 76.7% before that. In the same quarter last year, Android’s market share was just at 58.2%.

This growth comes at the expense of other platforms, like Symbian, which has fallen from 23.3% in the third quarter of 2012 to just 2.4% in Q3 2012.

This data comes from Beijing-based Analysis International, which keeps track of sales statistics in the country. What’s even more interesting at this point is that the figures don’t take into account yet the fake brand or knock-off smartphones sold.

According to analysis, cost is one big factor that has driven up the market share of Android among the Chinese. Apple’s iOS may have had some headway in the market, although average hardware cost may have been a barrier to ownership for Chinese smartphone users. Analysis International notes that Android devices cost an average of 1,393 yuan (US$ 223), while the iPhone costs an average of 4,523 yuan (US$ 726), a threefold increase in average cost.

Meanwhile, in terms of overall market, the Chinese smartphone market is likewise poised to grow. 2012 has seen a 199% growth in the market so far. By end of 2013, about half a billion Chinese users are expected to own smartphones. Putting the numbers together — the market growth, as well as Android’s market share — that’s certainly a lot of Android smartphones to be sold between now and that time.

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