When I first saw this news on MacRumors this morning, my immediate thought was "Duh! China has 4.4 times the population of the U.S." But there's more to the story of China passing the U.S. in iOS and Android activations, since the per-capita income is almost twelve times greater for Americans than it is for the average Chinese citizen.
The information from mobile analytics firm Flurry is pretty astounding, showing a steady rise in the percent of total activations over the past year from about 8 percent to the current 25 percent. The target market for iOS and Android devices is pretty much the same, so this shows the result of Apple's marketing push in China and that of Android device manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC. It's also indicative of the growth of affluence in China.
Flurry also measured app session growth year-over-year in a number of countries, and found that the growth rate in China is huge: a whopping 1,126 percent over 2011. By comparison, another emerging market for smartphone devices -- Argentina -- "only" saw an app session growth rate of 599 percent.
To quote the Flurry study results, "No matter how we slice it, the application market continues to grow at unprecedented rates, and increasingly across more borders. With smart devices adoption rates more than four times greater than those witnessed during the 1980s PC revolution and twice as fast as those during1990s Internet Boom, no other consumer technology has been more accessible than smart device application software. It's literally taking over the world."