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Poll shows smartphones dominate mobile market

By Gao Yuan  (China Daily)

08:46, February 27, 2013

Analysts say low cost of devices playing 'very important' role in lifting demand

Nearly seven out of 10 mobile phone owners in China were using smartphones in 2012, surpassing developed economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, a Nielson report said on Tuesday.

The smartphone penetration rate in China reached 66 percent while the proportion in the US was 65 percent, said Nielson after the company conducted research in more than 20 Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

The only nation with higher smartphone density than China was South Korea, where the proportion hit 67 percent, according to the report.

China is set to overtake the US this month as the world's largest market for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, according to US IT research website Flurry Analytics.

The country will have 246 million smart devices by the end of February, compared with 230 million in the US, Flurry estimated.

However, industry researchers argued that smartphone popularity in China may not as high as Nielson stated.

Wang Jingwen, an analyst at research company Canalys, said less than 40 percent of the phones being used in China were smartphones by the end of 2012. This figure will increase to around 55 percent by the end of this year.

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