When smartphone technology was created more than a decade ago, it was simply a small step for connected man - no one knew what a giant leap for mankind it would become.
According to a recent Flurry report, global smartphone adoption has exploded, growing faster than any consumer technology in history.
The rate of Android and iOS device adoption among international users has out-paced the 1980s PC revolution, the 1990s Internet boom, and the social networking craze of the noughties, according to Flurry, which reported the rate of smartphone adoption to be 10 times that of what we might now perceive as the positively glacial pace of early personal computer adoption.
Five years into the smart device growth curve, uptake of the new technology "is rapidly expanding beyond early adopter markets such as North America and Western Europe, creating a true worldwide addressable market," the mobile analytics firm reports.
Flurry estimates more than 640 million iOS and Android devices were in use during July. Unsurprisingly, the US led all markets with 165 million active smartphones, followed by China's 128 million.
"At this rate, China's active installed base could overtake the United States as early as the 2012 holiday season," Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, said in the company blog.
Rounding out the top 10, the UK was home to about 31 million active devices, while South Korea and Japan had 28 and 22 million, respectively, and the installed bases in Germany, France, Canada, Spain, and Brazil were pegged at between 13 million and 19 million.
Flurry gathered data from the more than 200,000 applications it tracks, on more than 640 million devices worldwide. The researcher reckons its methodology delivers a 90-plus per cent reliability during any given month, though its reported numbers will tend to differ from hardware sales, Flurry said.
The fastest-growing markets don't mirror those countries with the most users, according to the research firm. China's year-over-year growth of 401 per cent topped Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Vietnam, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and India, all of which had at least 170 per cent growth since July 2011.
Farago pointed out that Brazil, Russia, India, and China are all represented in the top 10 in terms of rate-of-growth, "reinforcing their new stage of advanced economic development," he said.
Today's real-time world of app development allows teams to distribute an application on Android instantaneously, and a week later, show up in the Apple App Store.
"With international growth accelerating, there has never been a better time, in the history of technology, to be a software developer," Farago said.