China rings in highest mobile users

World's most populous nation sees record number of mobile phone users, reveals report, while research firm predicts China will be Apple's largest market in three years.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

China's mobile phone population grew to 952.3 million by end-September and the country will surpass the United States in three years to become Apple's largest market, according to reports.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed there were 12.2 million new user signups for mobile phones in September, noted a People's Daily report published Thursday.

While the nation only awarded its 3G licenses in early-2009, the number of 3G users in the country reached almost 102.5 million by the end of September, said MIIT.

In a separate report from Apple Insider, Morgan Stanley said the world's most populous nation would likely surpass Apple's home market, the United States, to become the largest market for Apple products by 2014.

China is currently already Cupertino's second market. According to Morgan Stanley, Apple generated US$13 billion in revenue, growing US$3 billion year-on-year, in China for its 2011 fiscal year due to strong iPhone sales.

China's rising purchasing power was reflected in the PC market as well. IDC reported in August that the Chinese market outperformed the U.S. to become the world's biggest PC market in the second quarter of 2011.

Despite the projected growth for Apple in China, CEO of Chinese PC maker Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing, in August said Cupertino lacked product diversification in the Chinese market and would not be able to satisfy the needs of Chinese consumers at the lower-income level.

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