Android is going to have a big year in China and it will occur due to the market size, the number of manufacturers, phone cost and growing community.
China is a big market for mobile phones – about 840 million subscribers and the phone is an all round device for many Chinese who use the devices daily for news, online chatting, stock market trading, reading books, music and many other activities. The market in China is huge that’s a given and keeps Nokia steaming along. Android is getting bigger just by the size of the market and the number of phones that are starting to come with some flavor of Android from LG, Samsung and local brands.
China’s market size has attracted nearly every mobile phone manufacturer from across the world and has kick started many other local manufacturers and they all have one thing in common – they provide a wide range of models in different form factors to suit the tastes of the market from tweens to rich businessman. The manufacturers with Android phones on the market includes LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Acer, HTC, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Meizu with more upcoming models to come in 2011.
The Cost of mobile phone is often the deciding factor for many Chinese consumers – they have a budget in mind and this will be the single biggest reasons for the growth the sales of Android phones in 2011. Although the iPhone 4 has become the must-have in Shanghai and Beijing streets as it seems every second person has one at the moment the problem is the iPhone 4 retails at 4999RMB($750USD) which is far out of reach of the average Chinese consumer. Whereas, Android phones from local brands such as ZTE and Huawei start at 825RMB ($125USD) and international brands such as Samsung and HTC have Android phones starting at 1200RMB($185USD).
Android phones can be easily customised and hacked lending them to community developed apps and services through forums and online markets and we can already see this occuring with Android forums and markets occuring on sites such as pconline. In recent times micro-payments for apps and services has been a relatively new occurrence in other countries. However, in China the micor-payment market has been growing strong for many years through various services and sites such as QQ. The micro-payment market (from young to old age groups) for virtual goods is already established including the currency (cards purchased at shops or online banking transfers) and chinese users are already accustomed to making micro-payments for apps or virtual goods.