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China surpasses U.S. to become top market for smartphones and tablets

SmartDevice_InstalledBase_China_vs_US_Feb2013-resized-600The United States is no longer the world’s biggest smart device (Android and iOS phones and tablets) market, according to a report released by Flurry yesterday. The honor now belongs to China, which first started to see rapid growth in the industry just one year ago. The numbers are still pretty close, but if they continue with this rate of growth, the Chinese market will tower over the U.S.’s in no time.

To obtain this information, Flurry says that they tracked 2.4 billion anonymous application sessions per day from all around the world. Having done so, the company claims that they were able to accurately measure activity of 90 percent of the world’s smart devices.

In January, the two countries were just about even: the U.S. was home to 222 million active smart devices, while China trailed slightly with 221 million. Although the final February numbers still aren’t in, Flurry considered the historic trends and smart device activations from the first half of the month, ultimately determining that China will have 246 million devices, while the U.S. is expected to rise only to 230 million.

Will the U.S. ever take back its first place position? According to Flurry, it’s not very likely. Not only are the numbers in China currently rising at a much more rapid pace – in 2012, the country saw an astounding increase of 150 million smart devices—but it doesn’t seem plausible based on sheer population. China is home to some 1.3 billion while the U.S. has just 310 million. Still considering population, the only other country that stands a chance to overtake China is India, with 1.2 billion people. But if it ever does happen, it won’t likely be for quite a few years, since the country only has 19 million active smart devices right now.

Currently in third place is the United Kingdom, with 43 million active devices, followed up by South Korea with 30 million.