Chinese iOS & Android Activations Now Greater than U.S.

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China passed the U.S. in February in the number of iOS and Android activations, including smartphones and tablets. The U.S. has twice as many active devices in this category (China has far more feature phones in use), but China activated 23% of smartphones and tablets in February while the U.S. activated 22%.

In March, the gap is expected to widen to 24% of activations in China and 21% in the U.S. As recently as January 2011, the U.S. accounted for 28% of activations, while China had a mere 8%.

Apple & Android in China and U.S.

“With China now activating more devices per month than the U.S., this means that the gap is closing between the two countries in term of installed base,” analytics firm Flurry said in a report, according to Bloomberg.

Continued growth in the Chinese economy and a rising standard of living for its citizens means that growth in the market for smartphones and apps may be just getting started. 

China is already the second largest app market and Chinese users already launch apps more than any other country. In the past 12 months the number of app launches has grown 1,200%, while in the U.S., app launches have doubled during the same time frame.

Flurry Inc. makes software used to track the usage of mobile devices. Its analytics software tracks application downloads, among other things. The company is based in San Francisco.

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The key - but missing - info here is what proportion of the China-activated devices are iOS and what proportion are Droids.  Ideally, we’d also know the split between the iOS devices - iPhone vs iPad.  Did the firm that reported these data (Flurry) split out numbers?

Previous reports have said that Droid phones are outselling iPhones by a big margin in China (though that reflected a time when only one major Chinese telco officially offered the iPhone).  On the other hand, I think its safe to say that Droid tablets are probably not big sellers in China, which would mean that the bulk of the Chinese tablet market is probably iPads. A deeper dive into these numbers is highly relevant when pondering Apple’s sales figures for the current quarter…

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