In the global marketplace, China is a powerhouse and an enigma. The growing marketplace in China is tech-heavy, and the growth of the mobile market shows that. App usage in China, according to one tracking service, has grown more than 800 percent this year.
Mobile app tracking service Flurry has been keeping tabs on which countries apps are downloaded and used in. Over the last 10 months, app usage in China has grown by 870 percent, while app session growth in the United States is less than 200 percent. This meteoric growth means that China is now the second-biggest “app economy” below the United States.
The reasons apps, spending on app marketing and business acquisition of apps in China is growing are varied. First, the number of available phones is growing. Second, the phones running Android are going down in price. The version of Android may not be the latest, which can be frustrating to some app programmers, but it also brings the platform into more hands. Lower entry costs and wider availability are putting smartphones into more people’s hands.
The iPhone in China has contributed to the growth of app usage in the country, but the iPhone in China is different from the iPhone in most other parts of the world. China Mobile, the largest supplier of mobile services in China, was not able to get Apple to work with the proprietary 3G network in the country. Instead, China Mobile has chosen to advertise and sell the iPhone as a wifi-only device. There are about 70.5 million 3G users on China’s proprietary 3G network, and the wifi-only option on the iPhone will expand the number of app-ready customers without increasing load on the 3G network.
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