Although China is the world’s largest market for smartphones running Google’s Android platform, 41 percent of these devices to not fully comply with and use Google services, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media.
The report found that 41 percent of Android devices in China “support alternative application frameworks from the likes of Baidu, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, Wandoujia, Anzhi and other locally-based channels.” The fact that 41 percent of Android devices sold in China do not use Google services is striking, since Android is the vehicle through which Google can sell advertising and promote its services.
Google has had a contentious relationship with China. In 2010 it removed its servers from mainland China following what it said were cyberattacks against it that originated in China. And many Chinese use alternative Chinese mobile Internet search services like Baidu and Alibaba.
The Informa report said that, globally, one out of every three Android phones is sold in China, and that almost two-thirds of the handsets sold in China this year will be powered by the Android OS. Informa said the United States is the second largest Android market in the world, and that 11 percent of all Android phones are sold in the United States.
Informa reiterated what other analyst firms have said recently: that China is the fastest-growing smartphone market, with a year-on-year growth of 85 percent in 2012. Android exceeded 50 percent market share in China in the first half of 2012, and Android’s share of the market has continued to grow since.
Earlier this month Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Android has extended its lead over Apple’s rival iOS to a distance that is now comparable to Microsoft’s dominance over the desktop segment during the 1990s. Research firm IDC said Android captured 75 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter.
The report of Android’s dominance in China comes amid a push by Apple to gain more market share there. Apple announced Monday that it sold 2 million iPhone 5s during the gadget’s first weekend of sales in China. Yet according to IDC, Apple fell to the No. 6 spot among handset makers in China during the third quarter. Samsung Electronics, Huawei, Lenovo, Coolpad and ZTE all led Apple in terms of market share in China in that order, IDC said.
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