Android More Than Twice as Popular as iOS in China [STATS]


China’s largest mobile ad platform, Madhouse, has released new stats which give a fresh picture of the smartphone landscape in China. It shows that, up to the very end of 2011, there has been a recent strong surge in Android usage, and that consumers are buying both cheaper and more high-end phones as iOS and Android phones spread across the social (and wage) spectrum.

The stats were taken from a very broad range of apps and websites that make use of Madhouse’s mobile ad platform, allowing the Chinese company to collate geographic, handset, and software data. And so this relates to observed usage, not sales figures. Some highlights include the 64.2 percent market share of Android devices (more than double that of all iOS ones), and another stellar quarter for Samsung (005930:KS) thanks to its range of Android phones.

You might like to contrast the Android aspects of the data with those sourced from Umeng, a rival Chinese ad and referral platform, which collects usage sessions data in the same way. Last time we looked at stats from Umeng, we crowned Samsung’s Galaxy S as the king of Android phones in China, but the Madhouse figures beg to differ.

Here are the five key areas of iOS and Android usage in China, whipped into graphic form by the Madhouse crew:

By Region and Province

It’s a bit of a surprise that Beijingers cause so few ad impressions. Perhaps the capital’s residents don’t browse the mobile web so much, are resistant to clicking ads, or can’t see their smartphone’s screens through the smog. No surprise, though, that the wealthier provinces make up the top four.

By Handsets and Phone Brands

But that doesn’t mean that only those with fancier phones go online, of course. Though Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 is the leading single model (albeit down 13.1 percent on the previous quarter), second place goes to the lowly Huawei C8500. In contrast to the data from Umeng, the Samsung Galaxy S is only the fourth most popular phone.

By Cost of Phone

As a corollary to the previous graph, we see the greatest growth in cheap phones costing from 1,000 to 1,499 RMB (US$159 to $238), such as the afore-mentioned Huawei C8500.

By Size of Screen

Meanwhile, higher-resolution screens were booming as well, presumably among more monied folk. Phones that have screens wider than 640 pixels include the likes of the Motorola MT917 and the HTC Sensation.

By Android or iOS Version

This data being from Q4 2011, we see that most iPhone users were on the fairly recent iOS 4.3, which was the last before iOS 5 rolled out. However, on the Android platform we see the effect of all those budget phones as the relatively ancient Android 2.1 was still (by a tiny margin of 0.4 percent) the most used version. The newest iteration for phones at that time was 2.3 (with 3.0 being for tablets).

But the headline news is that, judging by these metrics, Android is well over twice as popular as iOS in China – and a broad price range of handsets will accelerate that even further as yet more people snap up, say, the Galaxy S II and new budget phones from local brands Huawei and ZTE in the coming year.

As a side-note, Madhouse observed that just over half – 52 percent to be precise – of its tallied ad impressions were done over wifi, not 2G or 3G. Grab the full report from the Madhouse newsletter for February.

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