back to article Android spanking iOS in world's BIGGEST mobile market

Android is absolutely creaming iOS in the world’s biggest mobile phone market, according to new stats from Beijing-based Analysys International, which estimate the Google platform now accounts for nearly 70 per cent of Chinese smartphones. The market watcher’s breakdown of smartphone sales by operating system for 2011 makes …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes it's a shame - basically they want iOS / iPhone but it's relatively expensive so they go with Android - same happens everywhere and I suspect a LOT of the Android devices sold are just upgrades on the old candy bar style phone to a full screen smartphone.

    The problem for Android is these users probably buy very few apps - but the networks probably love it as they get to sell more expensive plans 'with data'.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

      Are you from a strategy boutique?

      They do NOT want iOS/iPhone, as apparent preferences show.

      They might *consider* "iOS / iPhone" if the price on the rebranded Foxconn gear was right (i.e. low enough to not drop out of the preferences list immediately). Time for price readjustment. Unfortunately, that would destroy the cachet of the item, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

        Destroy the level of profitability more likely, and the total profit.

        Get over it, Android is a crap 2nd best product for nerds and people who cannot afford the quality APPL sells.

        1. Miek

          Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

          "Android is a crap 2nd best product for nerds and people who cannot afford the quality APPL sells"

          You have no idea Coward, high end Android phones completely wipe the floor with the iPhone in terms of specification As a user who likes choice I chose Android over IOS having tried them both out. Hey I even gave Windross Phone a blow and it certainly blew.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

            Actually I do, having owned (and crashed regularly) an Android (2.3) phone. I have an old iOS device as my main phone and a Nokia N9 for travelling. Did not even try the WinPhone yet.

            Clue: No one gives a flying fuck about specs. Repeat until you get it.

            Phones are consumer devices. Consumers care if they work and that they are well supported. Android support is appalling and it doesn't work that good anyway, based on my personal experience. iOS/APPL are light years ahead here - and this is what brings the punters back.

            Keep on with your nerdish obsession with specifications - consumers don't care and in the end you and your ilk will be irrelevant. Go back to kindergarten and call me in say 20 years, when you might have learned something.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

              "Actually I do, having owned (and crashed regularly) an Android (2.3) phone."

              Actually, the evidence shows that iOS crashes more than Android:


            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

              Wow, 18:1, the ignorant masses are out in force today

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

            "Windross"... how very mature and impartial. I bet you had your preferences set before trying the different options.

      2. a_been

        Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

        Android user : Androd is better

        iPhone user : LOL, sure, whatever you say

        Android user : it really is, IT really is, IT REALLY IS, admit it.

        iPhone user : look i don't give a fuck about your phone, now piss off

        Android user : RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGe, you must care

        Android user : well come on, this is really important to my self worth

        Android user : You only bought that to be cool

        Android user : Im an individual unlike you

        Andoid user : Androd outsells iPhone, thats important, admit it, come on it's important

        iPhone user : How's that OS update comming along

        Android user : RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGe

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"


          There FTFY.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

          [i]iPhone user : look i don't give a fuck about your phone, now piss off

          Android user : RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGe, you must care[i]

          That pretty much summarizes it, thanks. When we don't agree they start calling us "hipsters" and "baristas". It makes me want to buy another iPhone so I can be further different from them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

            I know, right? All I want to do is flash my Apple logo around and show everyone how important I am and these damn Droids keep coming and showing me that my phone is inferior. It's really annoying. And now they can use our beloved Instagram too! Is nothing sacred?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "basically they want iOS / iPhone"

            iPhone user : look i don't give a fuck about your phone, now piss off

            FFS fanboys, get with the program. It's:

            1) ignore

            2) ridicule

            3) fight

            4) lose

            Apple's lawyers are already on step 3 against Android, while you fanboys seem to be stuck on steps 1-2.

            Not that any of it will make a difference to the final outcome of course.

    2. Dazed and Confused

      @basically they want iOS / iPhone but it's relatively expensive

      But the big question is whether they'd still want an Apple if it was cheap as chips?

      Most people who want an Apple are buying into an "aspirational" product. If it was really cheap then it wouldn't be aspirational. They want to be seen with an expensive product, if everyone could afford one, there would be no point.

      1. RegisterThis
        Thumb Up

        Re: @basically they want iOS / iPhone but it's relatively expensive

        ... and "Dazed and Confused" hits the nail on the head: (1) segmentation applies to ANY product (target price, demographics etc.) and (2) varies from culture to culture. There will never be a universal product that dominates all others in all markets. Believe it or not, where I live, Blackberry is still the hottest thing because it = corporate = hierarchy = POWER = made it = status! In contrast, Apple = Cool Kid (assumed you grow out of it with a Blackberry) and Android = every-man-and-his-dog "I got a new <insert manufacturer of choice> phone" evolution from Feature- to Smart-phone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Usual Apple FUD.

      What's more likely is the Chinese market has less hipsters/baristas trying to impress, that just want a functional smartphone at the right price.

      The myth that Android is an inferior iPhone, as you try and make out, is just that - A myth. The high end Androids cost less than Iphone, but totally outclass it in every area, not just proper multitasking, better screens, better camera, better battery life, USB and SD card support, browsable filesystems, better file format support (not just proprietary Apple codecs like Quicktime), desktop widgets so you don't have to open apps to see the weather and news etc etc etc....

      Really if there is ANYONE is 2012 that thinks iOS is still superior to Android needs to look at this:

      1. JDX Gold badge

        The high end Androids cost less than Iphone

        That's utterly untrue.

        And seriously, anyone who evangelises an operating system and isn't affiliated with the company making it really should get out more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The high end Androids cost less than Iphone

          JDX: "That's utterly untrue."

          HTC One X, 32GB: £480 (SIM free, CPW)

          iPhone 4S, 32GB: £599 (SIM free, CPW)

          Last time I checked 480 < 599.

      2. DrXym

        Re: Usual Apple FUD.

        "Really if there is ANYONE is 2012 that thinks iOS is still superior to Android needs to look at this:"

        I think that video makes a lot of reasonable points. The lack of a back button in iPhone really does hurt it since so many apps need back functionality. Anyone who has used Android for a while knows it brings a level of consistency of behaviour.

        The lack of customization really hurts the iPhone. I don't go mad with widgets on my Android device but I've still got a clock and weather app on the front page, and shortcuts to wifi settings amongst other things. It's just so much more convenient than playing "hunt the setting".

        I don't think any of this has a strong bearing on why Android is winning in China. More likely is the OS is available on dozens of handsets at various pricepoints so consumers can pick a phone which suits their tastes and budgets.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Usual fandroid FUD.

          "...The lack of customization really hurts the iPhone... I've still got a clock and weather app on the front page, and shortcuts to wifi settings amongst other things. It's just so much more convenient than playing "hunt the setting"..."

          Jailbreak iPhone. Install the excellent SBSettings and get toggles to turn on/off; WiFi, 3G, data, Aeroplane mode, Location Services [GPS], AFP [file-Apple sharing], firewall, screen rotation lock, SSH and bluetooth [as well as all the other goodies in the Notifications panel], just by swiping down from the menubar on any screen.

          The iPhone is as customiseable as you want it to be. OK. you're going to need to jailbreak it first, but anyone geeky enough to care about that kind of level of customisation will be jailbreaking anyway.

          1. DrXym

            Re: Usual fandroid FUD.

            "Jailbreak iPhone."

            I shouldn't have to do this to any device to make it work the way it should work out of the box.

            1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

              Re: Usual fandroid FUD.

              "I shouldn't have to do this to any device to make it work the way it should work out of the box."

              So why the blazes do you morons keep blathering on about "rooting" your precious OS and overwriting it with "modded" ROMs and other firmware?

              Either the ability to customise your precious slab is important, or it isn't. Which is it?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Usual fandroid FUD.

                You don't need to root an Android to 'customise' it with widgets, different browsers, different launchers etc.

                Do try to keep up Baggaley.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Usual fandroid FUD.

                I think the point is, when your Android is warranty and supported with updates from the manufacturer (the big OHA partners have all signed up to at least 18months OS updates), but when your manufacturer has moved on, you can unlock the bootloader and load cyanogen (or whatever).

                There are few benefits to rooting under warranty phones, perhaps hosts based advert blocking,

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Usual Apple FUD.

          The back button is crap as it does different things in different apps and even does different things in the same app at times. That is just retarded. As for the clock/weather widgets, the iphone has the time at the top of the screen and if you can read that you can look up and see what the weather is.

    4. Ilgaz

      Check top android software

      While it has some lack of crediting problem (originates to oss code) , there is massively popular Go launcher and an entire suite of applications branded/ developed by them.

      It is made in China and coded by Chinese.

      There is no way you are replacing system shell on ios or replacing core functions like sms reading. That is unless you manage to convince user to "jail break".

      Android fits perfectly to fill symbian gap created by Nokia. That is where the popularity comes from.

  2. Silverburn

    Fundamental issues

    I working 3G? C'mon...They should just re-tool the original iphone and sell it for half/third of the price of the 3G counterparts.

    I'm surprised they even managed to sell as many as they have.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This bodes well considering your previous story "Chinese app stores host malicious apps".

    (Google Play store doesn’t support paid apps in China, hence the store fragmentation)

    1. Ilgaz

      Amazing really

      Don't you want to meet with that guy who dare to ignore 3 billion potential customers and sellers on android market?

      India, China, Russia, Turkey, east Europe can neither buy or sell there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazing really

        Actually in Turkey you can buy apps from Google Market / Google Play. Since last February / early March, I believe.

        No books, movies and music yet AFAIK.

  4. Jeebus

    70% market share is impressive, especially given the Chinese and their want to sell body parts for Apple products, at least many of the populace aren't quite as moronic.

    Not that there is much difference between selling body parts and the average Apple owner, I'm not implying those who don't are better and/or smarter.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    ..rulez !

  6. Muckminded

    And open source software

    gets downloaded more frequently than software that is paid for. Which means it is better.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What did you expect?

    For every 1 person that must buy an iPhone to wave it around in public as a status symbol, there will be 99 that want a smartphone to USE, and the fact is, whilst there are iPhone beating Android at the high end, there are entry level Android smartphones that do much the same at the affordable entry level too.

    Whilst I have a very decent Android handset that wipes the floor with iPhones, I am a niche Android owner, as most owners will opt for entry to mid level handsets.

    There is only 1 iPhone for 1 budget, there is an Android handset for EVERY budget.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: What did you expect?

      >There is only 1 iPhone for 1 budget, there is an Android handset for EVERY budget.

      That's kind of what I took from this story, most markets show a skew in figures towards the lower price end of the spectrum, largely irrespective of the relative merits of the various products on offer, particularly in economically uncertain times when people are more likely to be price concious.

      In other surprising news, Ford sell more cars than Aston Martin.

      I'd like to see a breakdown of the figures into price-points to see if this is a valid conclusion, though.

  8. DZ-Jay

    Does it really matter?

    If Apple are making a lot of money, much more so than Google is from Android, what do they care about market share?


    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Does it really matter?

      Does Google make money from Android at all - do they charge a small licensing fee? Or does paying licensing to MS mean the more Android succeeds, the more Google loses - is the patent licensing only in the USA?

      1. Miek

        Re: Does it really matter?

        There's nothing wrong with licensing technology and paying a rival firm to use their technology. It's quite common you know.

        Google is not "losing" when manufacturers pay Microsoft to use their technology, I see this as Google winning as basically $MS has lost a handset sale regardless of earning a royalty from their patents.

        "is the patent licensing only in the USA?" -- No!

    2. The Baron

      Re: Does it really matter?

      I really don't understand the downvotes on this post. It seems to make the important point that people are missing - viz. that Apple's bank balance says that it doesn't give a toss about market share, but concerns itself with profit. We can infer, and indeed El Reg has discussed many times, that Google is probably not looking to profit directly from phone hardware sales, but is indirectly after advertising revenue and behavioural data that feeds into its existing business model, and that larger numbers feed this model better.

      So Apple is happy making profit and Google is happy selling lots of phones. Everyone's happy! Isn't that nice? Smiley face icon.

      Well, maybe WP7 isn't happy...

      1. Craigness

        Re: Does it really matter?

        If Apple's current bank balance means they don't need to give a toss about selling more phones than they already do (and the apps, music and other content that follows), then at what point will they decide they've got enough money and just stop selling phones all together? I suspect Apple very much does care about selling as many phones as it can. If someone else is selling phones then Apple is not.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Does it really matter?

      Yes, it matters. Find me a business owner who doesn't want more market share no matter how high their margins are. Even for a premium product like Apples market share is important for the attendant eco-system. This used to be Apple's problem pre x86 OS X as it was considered too expensive to develop the software for the market, though there were notable exceptions. The same could happen to Apple in China with phones. Gone are the days where, where the US leads everyone else follows.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: Does it really matter?

        "Yes, it matters. Find me a business owner who doesn't want more market share no matter how high their margins are."

        Chanel? Gucci? Bose? Bang & Olufsen? Harrods?

        I could go on. The fact remains, however, that market share does not equate directly to profit. Margins are how you make the money, not quantity alone.

        As for the original article, its headline would have been better phrased as: "Financially challenged customers content to buy cheap knock-offs instead of real thing shock!"

        This is hardly news. Street hawkers and spammers wouldn't still be offering fake Rolexes for sale after all these years unless somebody was buying them, so this phenomenon is hardly unique to the Chinese.

        Apple aren't worried about Android mopping up the plebs. They're not interested in selling to people with little or no money.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this irrational iOS hatred is rather odd,

    The iPhone is a beautiful product that revolutionised a whole industry.

    But it's a tad expensive.

    I chose it because I like it a bit more than Android. Isn't that enough?

    1. pepper

      Liking a product should be enough really. I dont quite get the feverish flamewars instigated by both sides(IOS, Android). Its just a operating system and both are capable of pretty much the same thing.

      Then again, I have a Nokia N900(Maemo) and toyed with both Android and IOS phones. None of them strike me as very different from eachother, each and everyone of them does what they need to do and all of them are fine OS's. Yes even Maemo is quite good.

      1. Miek

        "Its just a operating system and both are capable of pretty much the same thing" , here here. Let the flame-wars die. You forgot to mention the WinPho camp who are also ardent defenders of their OS ecosystem.

        "Yes even Maemo is quite good." -- I tried Maemo on my Nokia n810 and it was okay, not brilliant and at that time it was no where near good enough to use as an actual phone, perhaps it has improved somewhat since then.

        1. pepper

          Miek: I forgot about the windows phone. Same goes for that, its a smartphone and does smartphone things. My mother and brother own a phone with windows 7(mobile?) and its alright. The interface feels a bit clunky if not used to it compared to IOS and Android but I suppose its something you need to get used too.

          Maemo works fine for me as a actual phone, current version is 5 but I never tried any other, it might have been crap before. Although my demands arent sky high, a webbrowser(default, opera and firefox), a way to contact people(mail, calling, sms etc). Thats pretty much it. Other then that its quite easy to program for(C/C++) and nice to use. Then again, its probably just me that likes it, and its more of a hackers phone then anything else(FM transmitter, IR transmitter, TV out).

          1. pepper

            @graham(didnt see your post when typing the previous one): I use Opera on Maemo, its quite nice and made me actually try it on my computer. The only thing that doesnt work are Flash pages and some other websites, which was a dealbreaker on my PC but hasnt given me problems on the phone.

            You could also try a firefox build, not quite sure what the name was though.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Graham Dawson Silver badge


        Maemo is quite good, yes, but I do wish it had a more reliable browser and e-mail client. Every browser I've tried has been either bloated, broken or, in the case of the default, both.

        That said, my gripe is somewhat tempered by the fact that I can compile code on the phone and install dosbox. :D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @All this irrational iOS hatred is rather odd

      These kids think hating Apple is a hip thing.

      They buy Android and keep telling us that it is much better, it's like a mantra. Somehow so far their arguments failed to convince me (and I've had iPhones and Android phones).

      Meanwhile, in China (and in most parts of the planet) most people want more expensive things but have to settle for cheaper ones. What's the problem?

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Stylus vs Touch

      "The iPhone is a beautiful product that revolutionised a whole industry."

      No, it didn't. It's nicely done, but it used commodity parts apart from the OS and case. The change was coming anyway. I evaluated several prototype (easy to use) touch screen phones that ran Linux before iOS or Android appeared.

      The earlier PDA Qtopia was optimised for stylus and resistive screen (win95 style WIMP) the later "Phone Edition" Qtopia was optimised for finger and capacitive screen use without stylus.

      The reason for PDA and later phone stylus input on Resistive screen was the "holy grail" of handwriting recognition and sketches / annotation. Once the emphasis was on Browsing and mostly information consumption rather than creation using finger input and capacitive screens (both nearly 30 years old too) was more logical.

      The ideal would of course be a combo screen that can do either stylus handwriting & sketches and finger gestures. Gesture based input is pre-1988 as I worked on a Mono-touch screen project then and the boss already had a list of gestures and what they should do (I think "filched" from Xerox, which before the mouse based interface was adopted had dabbled in "pen" based gesture computing.)

      iPhone was successful marketing with a very slick gui. Nothing original. No special HW either. If there was any justice and honesty and proper evaluation of Prior Art the USPO would have only awarded patents to pre-iPhone companies and only for the GSM, CDMA, 3G aspects. Everything else in all mobile phones is prior art or just "style". No SW /GUI feature should get patents ever.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: Stylus vs Touch

        "The ideal would of course be a combo screen that can do either stylus handwriting & sketches and finger gestures"

        The Galaxy Note does this. Not to everyone's taste due to it's huge (for a phone) size but as I have a phone for phone calls and a 'thing' for data it works well for me.

        Pressure sensitive pen input means it is genuinely usable as a drawing tool, it's great for quick handwritten notes which the fogeys amongst us still find easiest and it does all the normal smartphone stuff too with battery life that's certainly no worse than e.g. iPhones / other high end Android phones.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Stylus vs Touch

        The ideal would of course be a combo screen that can do either stylus handwriting & sketches and finger gestures

        Sounds a bit like Samung's Note which I think is doing well in some segments. Be interesting to see figures on that.

        I'm not 100% on the handwriting recognition but you can't beat being able to scrawl stuff with a pen. I've got a Bamboo Stylus for my Galaxy 8.9 but was a little disappointed at how it handled handwritten notes.

      3. stanimir

        Re: Stylus vs Touch

        "No SW /GUI feature should get patents ever." ++!!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The iPhone is a beautiful product "

      A grid of icons, inconsistent and limited user interface with a plasticky case is now a "beautiful product"

      Take a look here (and part 2 if you are too stubborn or stupid and need more convincing)

      I hate to break it to you. The iPhone is only a " beautiful product " because Apple told you it was. And just like Instagram was an app built on sand, the iPhone is a phone built on sand. The tide has come in, and the hipsters are slowly waking up.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: "The iPhone is a beautiful product "


        I've used multiple Android devices. The problem is that each device is noticeably different. It has a different feel—often caused by different manufacturers nailing their own GUI onto the plain vanilla Android base.

        I think the real problem with Android is the same one that has hit GNU / Linux: it's not the underlying OS most consumers care about, but the individual "distributions" of it. There's the Samsung flavour, the HTC flavour, the LG flavour, and the Amazon flavour—and that latter is a good example of what I'm getting at. Android is a great platform for manufacturers, but I think they're making a mistake in trying to attract developers to "Android".

        "Google Play" is an attempt at a universal "Android" app store, but there is no such thing as a "universal Android device". And it shows in the app designs. Amazon are already headed down the same "gated community" path Apple have chosen, and I suspect this will probably help them win a lot of market share. Samsung, LG, HTC, etc. need to stop trying to sell "Android" and start selling their own damned devices. If they had the courage of their designers' convictions, they'd each produce one or two models for each market sector, and support those devices properly, with dedicated app stores that are curated to ensure said apps actually take advantage of the devices. Let Google keep their bargain bin store too for those apps that people need, but which haven't (yet) been adapted to specific device(s).

        Basically, just as the debates over GNU / Linux have morphed into debates about Ubuntu vs. Mint vs. $DISTRO, so Android debates need to move towards "Samsung-flavour Android", "LG-flavour Android", and so on. This gives the manufacturers more leeway in differentiating their devices from their rivals. Samsung aren't competing with Apple here: they're competing with LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony and every other Android device manufacturer too. And the converse is also true for those other manufacturers. The market is big, but it is not infinite, and if they're having trouble competing with Apple at the high end, they're going to need to offer a full, branded, ecosystem of their own, each with its own design style and user experience.

        Because it's the user experience that matters. Nothing else. Technical specifications are utterly irrelevant to the 99.9% of customers buying these things.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Reading through these comments...well I think I can summarise a good 90% as "stop liking what I don't like".

      Both have pro's, both have con's. I bought an iPhone because that's the one I wanted. Not because I wanted to "show it off in public" or "wave an expensive phone around and feel better better than everyone".


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news...

    Sales of the BMW Z4 were greater than those of the Aston Martin DB9 by over 70%

    Sales of fish fingers were greater than that of Caviar by over 70%

    Your comment on affordability hit the nail on the head, no need for a sensational headline.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other news...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In other news...

        Oh look, it's El Reg's resident "Apple Clickbait' AC troll. What took you so long?

    2. Some Beggar

      Re: In other news...

      An Aston Martin is about 100 grand or 300% more expensive than a Z4.

      An iphone is about 100 quid or 20% more expensive than a vaguely comparable Android phone.

      I've got 100 quid in my pocket. If anybody whose surname isn't Zuckerburg or Gates has 100 grand in their back pocket then I'd like to shake their hand. While emptying their back pocket.

      I think you need to open the dictionary at the entry for "analogy" and re-read it a few times.

  11. Frederick Tennant

    Fruit vrs Robot???

    Market share?, Desire?, can we remember that these are phones, you who read Reghardware are technically minded we know where to get the latest drivers, programs etc. The rest of the worlds phone users, just use them as mobile phones.

    Everybody is pointing at that fruit company as they have changed the face of mobile phones. buttons are almost dead, long live buttons.

  12. Chris Sake


    It is easier to enter Chinese characters on a Smartphone for uses such as text messaging.

    Also, as most people in the PRC do not have a credit card, it makes it rather difficult to pay for apps from an app store. Being a developer of apps for Apple's store would be limiting as well, I would imagine, due to the fee of USD99 per year that would need to be paid by credit card.

    People in China prefer to have their apps in Chinese, and there is a burgeoning cadre of developers meeting that need there, using the phone OS that currently suits both groups: Android.

    1. Mike Judge

      Re: 孔子說

      Don't forget the "mac tax" Apple force you to also buy a mac to develop for iOS

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. jubtastic1

    Chinese forks

    Dont these cheap Chinese handsets tend to use Baidu rather than Google for searching? no access to Google's app/content store, and so on. These are Android phones like the Fire is an Android tablet, great for the manufacturers but sod all use for Google.

  15. b166er

    When you look at MIUI (by Chinese), you can see why Chinese are quite happy to have an Android phone rather then playing the Apple Sukkatax.

    What really stands iOS apart from Android anyway? In my opinion Android is a much more capable system. So that leaves hardware and yes, Apple make shiny hardware, but that's not enough to get the Chinese to part with their hard-earned and fair play to them. The average Chinese saves 50% of their wages, whereas the average westerner is lucky to save even 5%.

  16. Laxman

    The way ElReg capitalises words in headlines is ANNOYING

    It was cute at first, now it's just annoying..... you guys gotta keep the novelty up!

  17. Mike Brown

    time to learn a new language?

    As a soon to be multi-million pound android app developer, i think its time i started to learn chinese. then i can be a multi-billion pound android developer. Oh, after i learn java...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: time to learn a new language?

      Except they won't be able to buy it from you, and you wont be able to get advertising revenue from it, and they don't use google.

      So what we have is huge market share that is hard to monetize, a bit like the existing google app store. Of course googles answer in the US/Europe to that is you give your app away (i.e. produce free content for them), that they then make money off, and you make a small amount from the shared ad revenue instead.

      good luck with becoming a billionaire, in terms of outright sales and profit you are currently still better with ios and the 30% tax.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: time to learn a new language?

      "...Oh, after i learn java..."

      And therein lies the rub. For all that the fandroids love to tell us that Android is "Linux", they don't seem so keen to shout about the fact that it's Linux wrapped in a shitty Java GUI.

      1. stanimir

        Re: time to learn a new language?

        java doesn't do much w/ the gui. it's not swing.

        having java on the client side is immensely better than objective c (and its horrid syntax).

  18. corcoran

    You're right, they don't want iOS products..

    Except this kid, of course..

  19. Lallabalalla


    Cheap stuff sells more than expensive stuff. who'da thunk it?

  20. the-it-slayer

    Article to bring the fandroids out...

    This article was obviously written to stur up some debate and bring the fandroids out as the "applegate" stories are starting to fizzle out once again. Once again, El Reg has spelt out the obvious. Could we have some better indepth analysis rather than bluntly saying Android is more popular in developing countries? Well duh! Even so, the percentage is still impressive for the iPhone in a country will relatively poor living standards and wages for the majority.

    Anyway; we're comparing Apples and Pears (one model vs hundreds). Fandroids don't seem to get that quality isn't in the hardware either. Time and time again, public Joe doesn't want to be ROMing the hell out of their device to improve speed/performance when it should already be optimised for speed/performance.

    My biggest question is how long Google can justify their software model until it starts to crack due to the huge fragmentation and latest middle finger up to developers/manufacturers alike. Especially from the security POV where updates have to come from either custom ROMs or manufacturers who push them out like snails with chains attached to them.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    The Chinese absolutely love their knock-off versions. Eg this "iPhone 5G" that Dr Ashens reviewed a while back:

    and that's just the tip of the iceberg. And they come with lots of odd OS choices so Android on a device that looks like aiPhone is possible.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whitebait and oysters and I can walk to get both.

    I have an iPad2 and galaxy s ii, both great in their own way.

    I love the simplicity of the iPad2. Syncing music/playlists, two email accounts, three calendars and using dejay. Galaxy does all that, some of it easy but, more often than not I spend more hours working out "how to" on the galaxy. Could never work out how to overcome syncing calendars on the galaxy from hotmail to Google. Looked easy, it wasn't. Anyway, problems with both but, apple was easier. Any one got a good dj app for Android that I can check by the way posting teck out for longer than a minute. Posting this was all over the place on this galaxy.

  23. DNDSM

    Does Apple reall care about market share?

    Apple's position shows they are not after volume, they are after high net worth customers, they don't want to get into a price war because it erodes their profit margin so they will always sell items that cost more than they should. The simplicity of the product makes them popular (my 70 year old mum has an iPhone) with those that can afford them. Android handset manufactureres are in a price war with each other, all scrabbling for pennies whilst Apple sweeps up the big profits. At the end of the day what would you rather 70% market share with minimal profit or 30% market share with massive profit, I'd take the 30% any day and be rich thank you very much!

  24. Robot

    A lot of these posts are condescending to the Chinese

    Some of the posts here assume that Chinese consumers are cheapskate and gullible (i.e. they are more stupid and tech-ignorant than Americans). That is absolutely false. I am a Canadian who has lived in China on and off for five years (2+1+1+1). Middle-class Chinese consumers are actually very careful buyers who do weeks of research (e.g. in Baidu) before buying a phone. For most middle class people, a low price is rarely the main consideration. The combination of features+price is number one, and it is widely perceived that Android smartphones are by far the best by that criterion. There is also a perception, especially in the past year, that both iOS and Android are like Coke and Pepsi when it comes to features, with perhaps a slight margin in favour of iOS (which is correctly or incorrectly perceived as a fashion gadget with no real advantage over Android in features). Fanboism exists in China but less so than in America; pragmatism is the dominant attitude (as also in China's national economic policy, which is more intelligent than America's). The meteoric rise of Android in China is not an accident of market storm and tempest, but a reflection of intelligent consumer behaviour.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Android, Nokia, Apple, MS

    As others have written, can't we just accept diversity in the technology world ? There is Linux, Windows, Mainframes, AiX, MacOS, iOS, Oracle, Teradata, Java, C++, Ada, Postgres and many, many more technologies.

    Healthy competition is very good for the consumer, application developers and even Apple. Google is doing very well financially and this is not changed by the fact that Apple is doing extremely-super-well.

    Nokia, on the other hand is hardware company and I guess they still don't understand how a software operation works. When I had a 6030 years ago I wanted to develop J2ME apps, only to discover that the implementation was highly broken. I could get an update from Nokia, bit only for 30 euros ! Of course, that update fixed next to nothing. Then they sold Linux-based devices but killed these product lines soon after the launch. Now they also destroyed Symbian, at least from a publicity POV. Why did they not "renovate" Symbian ? That would have saved their existing developer community and assured control of their future. Why do they have such a confused Qt strategy ? Because they are clueless players in the field of software.

    Microsoft is for some irrational reasons totally irked by the success of Android and iOS, despite the fact that their core business is Windows (Server and Client) and Office. MS is doing very well, but for some paranoid reasons they think they have to be a player in the phone biz.

    They made half the mistake of Nokia in killing their old phone api and bolting a new "managed" on top of the WinCE kernel. That's a stupid restriction in the name of "our old ways were bad, let's eliminate those old approaches by force". MS (and IBM) was always most successful when they had a smooth migration path from the crappy old APIs to the new one. You could run DOS apps in WINNT for very good reasons. It is expensive and time-consuming to rewrite an app against a new API and forcing developers to do so is hugely stupid. So both MS and Nokia are sitting in the business doghouse for strong reasons.

    Unix (style) has proven to be an excellent and highly economic platform (in Android and iOS) and I would not be surprised to see MS join the party in a few years. Finally, the better technology wins over the corporate contraptions of crap.

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