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adoption of mobile has outpaced personal computers in terms of popularity and adoption throughout the world, with tablet and smartphone usage peaking in the second half of this decade. This is especially so in Asia, where tablets have made up more than half of all smartphones consumed across the region during Q2 2011, making it one of the continent’s fastest-growing segments. In fact, Asia has become a virtual market leader in global smartphone adoption over the past quarter century—and it will only continue to expand its dominance as a result. Here are five unique takeaways from our recent collaboration with Tsinghua University that could accelerate adoption of mobile devices in China:

What is the future of mobile in China?

China’s mobile market grew at a rate of 9.3 percent during the second quarter of 2011, according to figures provided to E Minotaur by GlobalWeb Index. That growth was the fastest of all regions, coming in at the top of the list in both the countries surveyed and overall. The growth of mobile in China is closely tied to the rapid adoption of Internet-based services. In particular, mobile adoption in China is closely tied to the growth of e-commerce and its related verticals—an industry that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. This is particularly so in the populous inland regions of Central China, where Internet investment is concentrated.

How to access and use mobile data in China

China’s mobile market is huge, with more than a quarter of the country’s territory dedicated to the subscriptions of mobile data services. It is therefore no surprise that this quarter’s top selling smartphone model is Xiaomi, which is both a company and an e-commerce site. What’s more, Xiaomi’s market share in China also grows at a steady pace, growing from just 11.6 percent in 2011 to 24.9 percent in 2012. What’s more, the company has a strategy to infiltrate new market segments, including emerging China’s “Self-service” market, which is expected to supply 18.6 percent of the country’s smartphone market in 2020.

The benefits of developing apps on smartphones

Developing apps on smartphones is the core strategy for most app developers in China, and it is already working. The country saw an increase in app releases of 50.9 percent during the second quarter of 2011, which is the highest rate of any region in the world. This growth is largely due to the rise of innovative apps, including those that target either specific industries or provide information specific to that area. For example, WeChat—the popular messaging and social media app in China—is the first truly global platform, with more than 100 million users worldwide, making it a key player in the global market. It is also used to create mobile games and applications, and it is one of the most popular games in China.

What will be the price point of apps in China?

Apps will continue to be a key part of personal digital experience in China, as they have been in many other Asian countries. The average software price of a device in China currently stands at about $100, compared to an average of $229 in other regions. However, this relatively light price increase is likely due to the fact that most smartphones sold in China are the latest and most-powerful models available at the time of publication. This means that the average user will not see a price increase until at least 2020, and then only by a small amount. In other regions of the world, where demand for high-end devices is higher, the price of a device may increase multiple orders of magnitude, as we see in the list of market figures here.

Why are apps so important in China?

Apps are the single-most-important factor for consumers in the China mobile market, and they have been for a while. The country has the world’s largest digital ecosystem, with more than 50 percent of global Internet traffic coming from China, and it has a rich digital history, with more than a quarter of all digital content currently being created and distributed in China. Apps allow consumers to store and share information, create incredible experiences, and access original videos, photos, and more. The ability to create apps in China is the single most important factor for achieving substantial market growth, as it holds the key to unlocking more of the country’s potential as an emerging market.

Summing up

In this article, we outlined five key takeaways from our recent collaboration with Tsinghua University that could accelerate adoption of mobile devices in China. The first is that there is an incredible opportunity to expand Asia’s smartphone market by leaps and bounds, particularly in the booming cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. The second is that the country has an incredible opportunity to become a global leader in mobile communication, with a rising number of consumers connecting via smartphone. Finally, we will conclude by discussing the importance of developing apps on smartphones, as it is one of the most important aspects of mobile communication. With every new percentage point of growth in the overall smartphone market, we can anticipate an increase in the importance of apps in the lives of consumers, as they are the single most important factor for success in the market. This article is only a introduction to the full potential of mobile in the world, with more than 100 million smartphone users around the world. We hope that this post helps provide some clarity on how mobile could become even more important over the next decade, as it is now net worth.

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