The rate of iOS and Android device adoption has surpassed that of any consumer technology in history, according to a new report released today (Aug. 27) by the analytics firm Flurry.
The company offered a bit of perspective and said that the rate of these smartphones and tablets adoption is 10 times faster than that of PCs in the 1980s. Not impressed? iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets were also being snapped up three times faster than the rate at which people joined Facebook since its public launch in 2007.
By July 2012, there were 640 million iOS and Android devices in use around the world. Flurry says it can detect about 90 percent of all active devices through its database of 200,000 apps it routinely tracks.
The U.S. leads the world in number of devices at 165 million. China is a somewhat distant second at 128 million devices, but adoption is growing at an astonishing clip, which could move it to first place by December of this year, Flurry said.
A look at how widespread the use of smart devices is around the world reveals how growth could explode in coming years. While developed nations, such as the U.S. is nearing the saturation point with about 78 percent of people ages 15-64 using smartphones and tablets, all four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are among the top 10 growth nations.
BRIC countries, representing about 40 percent of the world's population have been set apart in world economic circles for their potential impact on the world economy as huge numbers of people are projected to rise into middle income brackets. China's adoption of smart devices grew more than 400 percent from 2011 to 2012, followed by Brazil at 220 percent, Russia at 189 percent and India at 176 percent.
To get an idea of what these growth rates mean, if China reached the near 80 percent saturation of the U.S., that would account for more than 2 billion new devices.
With iPhone 5 around the corner, there's little to stop the growth of iOS as people in the U.S. trade their old phones for the new model. Refurbished phones are distributed both at home and abroad, making these coveted smartphones more affordable. Add the plethora of Android phones — despite the recent ruling against Samsung, which should have little immediate effect on Android supply — and we can expect the world to continue to latch onto to these pocket-sized gadgets.