Distimo reports that China accounted for just 18 percent of iPhone app downloads at the beginning of 2011, but that jumped up to 30 percent by November. When you add in iPad downloads, Chinese accounts for almost half of all downloads. Apple’s sales of mobile devices increased six-fold between 2010 and 2011, and some analysts predict that China could overtake the U.S. as a mobile app download market as early as next year.
However, mobile development pros who want to play in the Chinese market face some steep hurdles. Localization is very important to Chinese users, and Chinese device owners are much less willing to pay for downloads than U.S. smartphone owners.