Internet Use in China Skyrocketing – Shift Toward Mobile Access Continues

Recent studies have revealed data suggesting that the number of internet users in China has rocketed from 485 million in 2011 to a staggering 538 million as of the end of June this year. Internet use also grew on a percentage basis, reaching a national average of 39.9% from the 36.2% of the same time last year.

Perhaps more importantly however, the way in which Chinese citizens are accessing the internet is also shifting drastically, as while standard broadband use fell by 70 million users over the course of the year, mobile internet use continues to skyrocket.

Internet Use in China Skyrocketing – Shift Toward Mobile Access Continues

Online Gaming Growth

What’s more, there are now knows to be more online gamers in China than there are total internet subscribers in the whole of the US.

The number of Chinese consumers regularly using mobile phones to access streaming video content has also climbed past the 100 million mark, according to the same reports.

It is statistics such as these that make Apple’s recent steps toward a larger and more powerful Chinese presence so significant. Until now, Apple’s market saturation in China has been relative modest – at least when compared to other market – but all is beginning to change as the company’s profile grows in the country, alongside general levels of citizens’ disposable income. Yesterday saw the new iPad touch down in China for the very first time, minus the usual scenes of chaos and anger known to plague Apple product launches in the country.

When the iPhone 4S was released last year, authorities had to be called to several locations to break up the throbbing crowds, while other Apple stores were defaced and vandalized.

A Significant Step

However, it is not in fact the iPad the represents the most significant step forward for Apple in the Chinese market, but instead the as-yet unannounced iPhone 5. Apple was recently known to be engaging in talks with the country’s largest mobile carrier – China Mobile – regarding a possible launch of the iPhone 5 later this year.

While China Mobile accounts for a staggering 600 million subscribers across China, the network has been losing both ground and reputation over recent months again strengthening competition. What’s more, the carrier’s lack of new-generation network technology has seen customers in their millions straying to its rivals.

4G LTE iPhone 5

However, rumor has it that China Mobile and Apple have every intention of unofficially christening the carrier’s new 4G LTE network in spectacular style, by offering the sixth-generation iPhone 5 late this fall. If true, both parties are likely to revel in one of the most biblical success stories in the history of the mobile technology industry, furthering Apple’s stranglehold on the world’s technophiles and pummeling more of its rivals into submission than ever before.

The iPhone 5 is expected to be officially announced later this summer, with a release date to follow sometime during October.

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