According to a new study, the adoption rate of devices running iOS or Android has surpassed every single consumer technology in history – ten times faster than PCs in the ’80s, twice as fast as the Internet boom in the 90’s, and three times faster than current social networks. In July 2012 there were over 640 million iOS and Android devices in use worldwide.
Flurry’s statistics show that smart devices have quickly expanded well beyond the early adopter markets in North America and Western Europe, with the fastest growth rate in China at 401 percent in the last year. The US is still in the lead in terms of total number of active iOS and Android devices at 165 million, but China is gaining rapidly with 128 million total and is now poised to surpass the US potentially as early as the holiday 2012 season.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in April that the company’s revenue in China has been “mind-boggling,” with the region bringing in $7.39 billion during the March quarter alone, driven largely by iPhone sales. They have in turn been targeting the Chinese market with the recent Mountain Lion launch and upcoming iOS 6 release, both of which offer new features aimed at Chinese users.
The rapid international adoption rate has also greatly benefited software developers and made the app marketplace into a great opportunity for global market growth. In July 2011 the U.S. still had the majority share of app usage, but the international growth has caused a major shift. Just one year later, 64% of all app usage is taking place outside of the U.S.
With Apple poised to release the rumored latest incarnation of the iPhone and the iPad mini in the coming quarter, there is surely nowhere to go but up.