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China Becomes World's Largest Android Market

China has become the world's largest market for Google's mobile operating system Android.

Market researcher Informa predicts that around 786 million smartphones will be sold worldwide by the end of the year, representing an increase of 45 percent when compared to 2011.

Overall sales of smartphones powered by Android in 2012 will reach 461 million units, with one-third of all Android devices sold this year being within China, consequently making it the world's largest market for the platform.

United States follows in second place with an 11 percent share of all Android device sales this year. Informa added that the OS is running on two-thirds of all smartphones sold in China this year and on half of all handsets sold in the U.S. Additionally, Android accounts for 90 percent of all smartphone sales in the region.

"Looking forward, Android is expected to continue gaining market share globally and, by 2015, one in every two handsets sold worldwide will be powered by it," Informa principal analyst Malik Saadi said. "However...the market share of this platform could potentially peak -- or even decline -- after 2016 owing to a more aggressive penetration of the alternative OSs, most notably Windows Phone."

Apple's iOS, meanwhile, settled for a 5 percent share of the Chinese smartphone market this year, while Microsoft's Windows Phone followed with a 1 percent share.

Worldwide, Android accounts for 72.4 percent of the smartphone market, while iOS has a 13.9 percent share.

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