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Plushie at the Google Store

Above: Plushie at the Google Store

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

New data show that half China’s smartphones are now running Android. Altogether, the country’s smartphone penetration sits at around 42 percent.

According to Kantar Worldpanel‘s report, Android had captured 51.4 percent of China’s smartphone market by the end of March 2013. iOS remains behind Symbian with 19.9 percent market share; Symbian claims 23 percent, a figure that is in decline.

Together, brands Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Coolpad, and Xiaomi account for 20 percent of all active Chinese smartphones. Samsung controls 15.2 percent of the smartphone installed base in China.

The writing has been on the wall for a while. Earlier this year, we heard predictions that the Android gaming market would eclipse iOS gaming in China — and the country’s wealth of third-party Android app marketplaces is a huge reason for this.

“Experts have long assumed that it was only a matter of time before Apple conquered China’s mobile phone market, predicting in January of 2012 that key partnerships could lead to sales of 40 million units. As of the second half of 2012, however, some reports showed that iPhones accounted for only 7.5 percent of the Chinese smartphone market,” said CocoaChina general manager Lei Zhang in a recent VentureBeat guest post.

“For foreign developers hoping to make a splash in China, Android has the audience, thanks to the devices’ proliferation.”

But Android’s popularity in the PRC hasn’t been a sweet spot for the Chinese government, members of which have said Google is too controlling and stating that Chinese have a “severe dependency” on Android.

Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

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