China has passed the U.S. to become the world’s top country for smartphones and tablets, reports researcher, Flurry. Flurry first reported that China had become the world’s fastest growing smart device market just last year. Since then, it took China’s rapidly growing middle class just twelve months to close the gap on the U.S.
China and the U.S. had roughly the same active smart device installed base in January 2013, 222 million in the U.S. versus 221 million in China. Flurry estimates that by the end of February 2013, China will have 246 million devices compared to 230 million in the U.S.
For this report, Flurry tracked more than 2.4 billion anonymous, aggregated application sessions per day across more than 275,000 applications around the world. Flurry estimates that it reliably measures activity across more than 90% of the world’s smart devices.
China Mobile is expected to show a few TD-LTE smartphones at MWC next week, perhaps including models from Huawei, ZTE and Samsung.
Ericsson’s Mobility Report, issued today, indicates China alone accounted for ~22 percent of net additions, adding around 30 million subscriptions in Q4, 2012. Global mobile penetration reached 89 percent in Q4 2012 and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.3 billion. However, the actual number of subscribers is around 4.4 billion, since many people have several subscriptions.
Ericsson says (pdf) data traffic doubled between Q4 2011 and Q4 2012, with quarterly growth of 28 percent between Q3 2012 and Q4 2012.