Having a sizable chunk of the world's population, tech manufacturers and service providers rightly see China as a huge potential growth market. As smartphone and tablet technologies begins to proliferate throughout the country, more and more of China's citizens are now becoming mobile subscribers.
According to a new DigiTimes report, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China has just unveiled its new numbers for the month of November. The ministry report shows that more than 1.2 billion Chinese citizens are now mobile subscribers. This represents a nearly 11% increase from the number of mobile subscribers seen in November 2012. It also means that China is quickly closing in on a fully saturated mobile population, with over 89% of the Chines population now mobile subscribers.
Even more exciting for manufacturers is the fact that a sizable portion of those subscribers are now accessing the internet through their devices. More than 803 million Chinese mobile subscribers have access to the internet through their devices, representing nearly two-thirds (65.7%) of all Chinese mobile subscribers. A bit less than half of those subscribers (386.8 million, or over 31% of all Chinese mobile subscribers) are able to access the internet through a 3G connection.
These numbers will no doubt continue to encourage smartphone manufacturers that have racing to introduce low-cost smartphone handsets and tablets to China and other emerging markets. Even Apple, with its iPhone 5C, is tacitly acknowledging the power of lower-cost hardware in growing markets. The obstacle now will be for name brands to compete with smaller "white-box" brands, which have found success with their super-low prices in markets where they can heavily undercut the branded competition - especially China.
Image via Yoshi Canopus/Wikimedia Commons