China rules the mobile world with 1 billion users

The Far East country has officially reached more than 1 billion cell phone users -- crowning it king of the mobile world.

Lindsey Turrentine/CNET

China is in the big leagues when it comes to cell phone use. According to The Next Web, the Chinese government has officially announced that it now has more than 1 billion mobile phone users.

For comparison, the U.S. looks measly with just more than 330 million users, according to numbers from the CTIA wireless association.

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a report with the new numbers of in-country users, according to The Next Web. The report shows that after 2012's first quarter bump of 43 million new devices, the total number surpassed one billion users.

While feature phones are still the most used, smartphones are quickly gaining popularity in China. Google's Android mobile operating system is now the most popular platform. Beijing-based research analytics firm Analysys International said by the end of 2011, Android had 68 percent of the smartphone operating system market, a figure up from 33 percent only three quarters before.

China is an important market for Apple's iPhone too. In 2011's fourth quarter, China contributed more than 16 percent, or $4.5 billion, to Apple's earnings putting it ahead of the entire European Union. And just last week, Apple entered talks with China Mobile, the country's biggest mobile carrier, about possibly offering the iPhone to its customers.

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