China has become the first country to reach 900 million cell phone users, according to government statistics.
China added about 11 million mobile phone users in April. This was just enough to bring the country’s cell phone user base to 900.3 million.
The figures were contained in a report released on Tuesday by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The mobile phone adoption rate in China has been soaring for several years. In April 2010, the country had about 787 million mobile phone users. The year before that, China had 679 million users.
India, however, is not far behind. The country had 811 million mobile phone users at the end of March, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. This represents an increase of about 20 million users from the month before.
The U.S. has 303 million mobile phone users, according to the CTIA, an industry organization that represents mobile operators.
China’s biggest handset manufacturer is Nokia, which has a 29.6 share of the mobile phone market, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Samsung ranks second with a 22.6 percent share.
With the growth in mobile phones, smartphone sales are also rising in the country. The devices currently make up about 28 percent of all mobile phone sales in the country, according to Analysys. By 2013, that figure is expected to reach 50 percent as the price for smartphones decrease.
In the smartphone market, Android use is growing the fastest. In 2010, the number of Android users grew from 872,000 to almost 11 million, according to Analysys.
China’s 3G networks, which launched in 2009, are still used only by a small portion of the country’s total mobile phone populace. In April, China had a total of 67 million 3G users. But analysts expect that number to continue to rise over the coming years.