For now, the US still has the most active devices in the most popular mobile operating systems. But China’s growth rate is far higher - the highest in the world - and will soon have the most devices in the world as well.
The United States and China have, by far, the greatest number of active iOS and Android devices - 181 million and 167 million respectively, as of October 2012, accordinf to a report by Flurry Analytics. To give a sense of scale, the next three in the list, the UK, Japan and South Korea, have 35 million, 28 million and 27 million active devices - at best a fifth of the volume of the top 2 performers. But in terms of growth, the two countries are evolving very differently. The US has added 55 million devices since October of 2011, but China has added 125 million. This trend can only continue, and the US will lose ground as the first in device activity, a position it may only hold onto for a few more months.
The US app usage declined in proportion to the rest of the “global village”
The global smartphone market represents, according to Flurry, “three quarters of a billion active iOS and Android smart devices, simultaneously running across more than 220 countries and territories that will generate a revenue approaching $10 billion in 2012.” When we look at the distribution of iOS and Android app sessions worldwide, the US is loosing ground. In October 2011, the US was responsible for 48% of app sessions, the rest of the top 10 countries for 27% and the rest of the world 25%. In October 2012, however, the US accounted for 29% of app sessions, while the rest of the top 10 countries represented 39% of app sessions and the rest of the world 32%. In other words, “71% of all app sessions now take place outside the U.S.”
China is the world’s fastest growing market by active device
Flurry predicts “that China will surpass the U.S. in total installed base by the end of Q1 2013, delayed only by the upcoming massive holiday season that will spike the US installed base.” The growth gap can more easily be grasped from considering other Flurry data - the US does not even appear on their list of the top ten fastest growing iOS and Android markets by active devices. China is in first with a 293 percent growth rate, followed by Vietnam at 269 percent and Colombia at 260 percent. The countries with fourth through tenth highest growth rate are Chile, the Ukraine, Venezuela, Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt and Russia.