The New Face Of Asian M-Commerce: Android Sells Five Times As Many Phones In 2011 As In 2010

Mobile-commerce sites, take note: Android phones are now outselling all other smartphones in Asia. On October 20, ABI Research reported that in 2011, Android will represent 52 percent of smartphones sold in Asian markets, up from 16 percent last year. (Combined with the 56 percent increase in Asian smartphone sales that ABI reported, that means a stunning five times as many Asian Android phones sold in 2011 as in 2010.) ABI also reported on Monday (Oct. 24) that, worldwide, downloads of Android apps now outpace those for the iPhone by 44 to 31 percent, although Apple users still download twice as many apps per phone.

That doesn't mean iPhone use has fallen off a cliff—many of those Androids are likely lower-priced phones that are being snapped up by customers who can't afford Apple's price tag. But it does mean large numbers of M-Commerce customers will be using Android phones. That could actually make life easier for M-Commerce developers: With the market mainly split between spendthrift iPhone customers and more numerous cheapskate Android users, developers can decide who they want to target and how to make their mobile sites work well with either group—or both.