Top 5 predictions for Chinese mobile market in 2012

By Chris Shen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 6, 2012
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Chris Shen is vice president at The9, a China-based online gaming company.

The number of mobile phone users in China exceeded 940 million in September 2011, and more than half of new users chose 3G devices. All signs point to China as the next big mobile frontier, and mobile gaming will be a key component in this growth and bring in the lion's share of revenue for the region.

This isn't just a Chinese story. It is on the mind of every major mobile app developer from Brooklyn to Bangalore. I am seeing it first hand with our game network: The9 Mobile experienced a 500 percent spike in new games in just the past two months, with half of our 635 game titles coming from Western developers. Over the same two-month period, the number of The9 Game Zone players has more than doubled. The mobile games community is more than doubling every two months. Every two months. Yes, that's a record pace. In light of historic growth cycle, here are some predictions to keep in mind for 2012:

   The number of smartphones in China will surpass 100 million.


As of now, there are around 50 million iOS, Android and Windows smartphones in the country. While China Unicom provides iPhones, China Mobile supports around 10 million iPhone users even without a contract with Apple. Feature phones have dominated in China because of their low price point and the appeal of prepay phones, according to a recent VisionMobile study. And now carriers are starting to offer prepaid smartphones as well. The drive for smartphones is alive and well in China and will continue to grow. This leads into my next prediction…

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