Android grabs 50% of new China market --- can anything slow it down?

There's no doubt that eventually China will be the largest worldwide market for smartphones --- and that's one more reason that Android will become the dominant smartphone operating system. New research shows that nearly half of all smartphones sold in China in the last quarter run Android.

John Paczkowski of All Things Digital reports that Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt says in a research note to clients that almost 50% of all the smartphones sold in China for the last quarter were Android-based phones. Paczkowski writes about Android's market dominance:

Interesting, when you consider that prior to 2010, the Chinese smartphone market was ruled largely by Nokia’s Symbian OS and Windows Mobile.

How quickly things change. According to McCourt, Android now represents nearly 50 percent of smartphone volume in the country, up from zero last year.

Clearly, China represents a tremendous growth market, possible the largest in the world. Paczkowski cites this note that McCourt wrote to her clients:

"The bigger picture is that the Chinese market for smartphones is exploding, but is at a much earlier stage of development than North America or Western Europe."

Translation: As fast as the market is growing now, it may grow even faster in the future because it's still an immature market.

That's the second piece of good news for Android this week. ComScore reported that Android is growing faster in the U.S. than all other smartphone operating systems. Computerworld reports:

Android's subscriber base grew by 6.5 percentage points during the three-month period, while the number of RIM subscribers fell by 3.5 percentage points and and Apple's base grew slightly from the three month period ending in July.

if things continue this way, it doesn't look as if anything will slow Android growth.

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