China Passes U.S. as Top Smartphone Market

China has reportedly passed the U.S. as the world's largest market for active smartphone devices. Analytics firm Flurry issued a report on Monday that found active Android and iOS devices in China outnumber those in the U.S., the first time the U.S. has been unseated in this particular metric.

Flurry's reports are limited to the data across its own analytics network of Android and iOS apps that embed the company's analytic tools in their mobile apps. That means there's plenty of margin for the firm's reports not to represent the market as a whole.

This particular report was derived from tracking from "more than 2.4 billion anonymous, aggregated application sessions per day across more than 275,000 applications around the world." The firm said that it believes its measurements include 90 percent of the world's smartphones, tablets and other "smart devices."

Flurry Chart

Chart by Flurry

The tipping point occurred at some point in January, when both countries had roughly the same number of active devices—222 million in the U.S. and 221 million in China. Flurry said that it estimates that February will show China with 246 million active devices, while the U.S. will have 230 million.

The U.S. currently has some 311 million people, while China has some 1.344 billion. Some rough napkin math will note that China has a billion more people than the U.S. with an extra Texas thrown in for good measure.

In other words, don't expect this particular metric to reverse...ever. It also represents a bullet point for Apple CEO Tim Cook's contention that China will become his company's largest market in the years to come.

The chart below offers some more insight. Either China or the U.S. has more active devices than the next eight countries combined. Only India—with a paltry 19 million active devices—and China have a larger population than the U.S., and India is much less wealthy than China for the nonce.

Flurry Chart

Chart by Flurry

Related to this, we reported earlier on Monday that Apple recently has seen new growth in India.

Be that as it may, demand and customer taste in China and the U.S. are likely to drive the smart device market for the foreseeable foture.