No piece of modern technology has been adopted at a faster rate than iOS and Android-enabled devices, according to a study by mobile application analytics firm Flurry.
The study takes stock of worldwide mobile growth five years after the launch of the iPhone and finds that the market for what the study calls “smart devices” (iOS and Android-enabled smartphone and tablets) is growing at an unprecedented scale.
This growth is unmatched by the Internet Boom of the ‘90s and the adoption of social media in the ‘00s. The study puts iOS and Android device adoption at 10 times the rate of PC adoption in the ‘80s.
Flurry collected data from 200,000 applications that it tracks across the globe to paint a picture of market growth and device penetration. The study estimates that 640 million iOS and Android devices are in use as of July 2012 and puts the U.S. and China as the most dominant countries in terms of usage.
When it comes to growth, it’s all about the developing countries. Chile ranks second after China in the list of countries with the fastest growing Android and iOS markets. Brazil, Russia and India also appear at the top of the ranking.
Emerging markets dominate the list because early adopter markets like the U.S. and Western Europe are already reaching market saturation. Topping the list of saturated markets are three countries with relatively small and wealthy populations: Singapore (92%), Hong Kong (87%) and Sweden (86%).
While more active devices exist in the U.S. than anywhere else (165 million), China, with an explosive year-over-year growth rate of 401 percent, stands to overtake the U.S. by December 2012.
That means the mobile revolution is a truly international event, thanks in large part to the ease with which applications can be designed and shared. As Peter Farago, Flurry’s VP of marketing wrote in the company’s blog, “with international growth accelerating, there has never been a better time, in the history of technology, to be a software developer.”