Android beats iPhone in China

May 27, 2010: 12:23 AM ET

According to April Admob numbers, Android phones outnumber iPhones in Mainland China.

Google's new subsidiary, Admob pushed out its latest smartphone analytics numbers today and there is a bit of an Android surprise from Mainland China.

The numbers Admob got in China were: 725,358 iPhones and 882,384 Android phones.  That's about a 20% advantage for Android.

Credit: Admob April 2010 report

What do these numbers mean?  Well, if you add in (surprisingly high) iPad and iPod touch numbers, iPhone OS manages to squeak past Android's OS by about 40,000 devices.  At launch, Apple was forced to sell an unpopular version of its iPhone without Wifi as well.

It is also surprising that Google (GOOG) is doing so well in a country it ceremoniously left over censorship and hacking issues.  Google's Chinese search engine still points to servers in Hong Kong.  Apple (AAPL) on the other hand has been seeing phenomenal growth in China.

Admob calculates its data based on devices that hit advertising on its 35,000 apps and additional  websites.   Keep in mind that feature phones don't have apps or web browsers to hit Admob's services and even some smartphones in use might not have hit one of Admob's servers during the testing period.

While iPod touches (and gray market iPhones) have been on sale in China for three years, iPhones only officially came to the Mainland last year and iPads aren't even officially sold.  Android devices are relatively new as well, being only 18 months old as a platform and even younger than that in China.

The United States was the leading country (75%) in unique devices on the Android platform, followed by China (8%), the UK (3%), France (2%) and Germany (2%). The top three Android devices in China were all from HTC: the HTC Hero, HTC Magic and HTC Dream.

Android's recent push is a global phenomenon.  As you can see below, the iPhone has lost almost 10% of marketshare over the past four months while Android and (surprisingly) Symbian have surged 4% each.  iPhone 4/HD's release may change the game, however.

Credit: Admob April 2010 report, overall global OS usage

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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