There are about 1 billion mobile phones registered in China. In a country where love of gadgetry goes beyond the ordinary, the smartphone can do a lot more than just connecting one voice with another.
The sound of an alarm blares across the room. It's 8 am and Gao Xin gets out of bed, reaches over to his night stand to shut off the alarm. The object he grabs is not an alarm clock, it's his mobile phone.
The 30-year-old IT sales associate is among the growing number of people in China who are forgoing traditional technologies and gadgets in favor of the mobile phone. Their preference for mobile leans towards a device that is starting to change lifestyles - the smartphone.
"My phone is the first thing I reach for in the morning, and the last thing I put down before going to bed," says Gao. "I use my phone for everything from reading business reports, sending e-mails, reading books and watching videos during my commute."
Gao's story reflects a common habit. Glance across a Beijing metro carriage and you will see countless people heads down, watching videos, reading books, and playing games.
And, instead of using once dedicated devices such as PlayStations, Kindles, or iPods, they are using smartphones.
Mobile phone penetration in China, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Telecommunications, has now reached more than 1 billion users.
With China's population currently at 1.37 billion, that means an overwhelming majority of people in China uses mobile phones. Some may even have two, or more.