BEIJING: The mobile entertainment sector will see rapid revenue growth in China in the next few years, as more consumers gain access to smartphones, figures from JBB Research show.
In a recent report, the consultancy argued "App Stores", as pioneered by Apple, will "gain good traction" in the rapidly-developing economy in 2010, causing a "ripple effect" across the mobile market.
Growth will be fuelled by the launch of 3G smartphones powered by operating systems like Google Android, and by cheaper data contracts, it added.
By the end of 2013, the number of mobile entertainment subscribers in the world's most populous nation is expected to double.
Moreover, the revenues generated by this channel will climb from $6.5 billion (€4.8bn; £4.2bn) in 2008 to $18bn by the end of the forecast period.
However, JBB Research warned significant obstacles remain, including a comparatively under-developed infrastructure, relatively low consumer incomes and the risk of censorship and corruption.
In common with other markets, an increase in the popularity of WiFi – which is commonly accessed through users' laptops – could also limit the popularity of the mobile web.
Julien Blin, ceo of JBB Research, said "we expect Chinese carriers to heavily promote their own mobile Application Stores to increase customer retention and capture a larger share of this growing business."
"For mobile App Store providers like Apple and others, focusing more on developing Chinese-language mobile apps will be critical in order to help them drive the popularity of their mobile app store."
Data sourced from JBB Research; additional content by Warc staff