Feeds

Half of Chinese are downloading mobile apps

And with hardly a smartphone in sight

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Research firm Canalys reckons that over half of Chinese people surveyed have downloaded applications onto their phones - more than twice the level of downloads seen in Europe.

Not only that, but while their European contemporaries are downloading fart generators and time-filling games onto smartphones the Chinese are reading books and learning languages on feature phones with little more than J2ME functionality.

Almost 70 per cent of the Chinese who download applications are reading books on their phones, according to survey of 1,515 people in China carried out by Canalys. That's closely followed by applications for accessing social networking sites such as QZone.

QZone is interesting not only because it's bigger than Facebook (reporting 567 million users), but because users will pay for mobile access to it - a revenue stream that Facebook can only admire from afar. QZone makes money by owning the currency used in within-service games, though respondents to the Canalys' survey said they'd happily pay more than £1 a month for mobile access.

Those same users are already buying applications by the bucket load - 51 per cent of those questioned download apps, compared to 22 per cent in a similar European survey. But it's not Apple driving mobile applications in China, it's the mobile operators which have created usable application stores selling J2ME content though easy payment mechanisms linked to mobile bills. Those compete with manufacturer's application stores, including Nokia's Ovi, and third-party stores.

It's an opportunity that western operators comprehensively failed to grasp, beyond a few games. European operators certainly had the opportunity to insist on more consistency in Java, forcing manufacturers to reduce fragmentation, but never saw selling applications as a worthwhile business and thus ceded the business to Apple and its ilk. Only now are the operators trying to reclaim that ground through the Wireless Application Community, using AJAX apps, but it's hard not to conclude that it's too little, too late.

In China it seems that operators can see the value of Java, and have provided the means to make money from it too, even if it's only to render electronic books. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.