The Data on World App Trends

In a recent post, we shared the industry’s best practices on app localization so developers can launch in new markets. But certain markets are better than others when it comes to mobile apps. Learn the current global app trends so you can market your pride and joy in a smarter fashion.

World app trends

Image source: Flickr, user: Nicolas Raymond

What the current data tells us

For this report, we referenced App Annie. App Annie provides analytics each quarter on apps in every vertical and country. It released its 2014 Q2 report a few weeks ago. The information is a great resource for developers trying to market their apps abroad.

Marcos Sanchez (@marcosmindseye), App Annie’s VP of Global Corporate Communications, was kind enough to talk with us about this topic. He had some great insight, which we’ve included in the quotes below.

App Annie’s report taught us:

1. Don’t ignore international markets.

When launching your app in a new country, start by understanding your demographic and matching it with the appropriate market.

If you’ve developed a game that got lost in the crowd here in the US, try moving East. South Korea may have a reputation for excessive gaming, but mobile games also big in Japan. In fact, they’re so popular that games drove 90 percent of Japan’s combined App Store and Google Play revenue last quarter.

Emerging markets are also gaining speed quickly. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and MINT (Malaysia, India, Nigeria and Thailand) countries in particular are seeing significant download momentum as smartphones become more widely adopted.

Unlike PCs or console gaming units, smartphones will see adoption rates in emerging economies that are exponentially higher. What those countries lack in expendable income, they will certainly make up for in volume, and we expect that download-driven in-app advertising will begin to make serious advances.”

2. Don’t ignore Android.

Android has seen rapid growth, particularly in Brazil, Thailand and India. Google Play exceeded iOS App Store downloads last quarter by 60 percent. What’s more, downloads are rising steadily with each new quarter.

One reason for this shift is Android One. Google launched Android One as a cheap smartphone alternative for users in developing countries. As more of these phones are shipped out to countries like India, competitors in those areas are squeezed out.

The con: Android still doesn’t monetize as well as iOS, with the App Store providing 80 percent more revenue than Google Play. However, with the way Google is dominating emerging markets, this won’t stay true forever.

3. Don’t ignore your full audience.

If you believe mobile games are just for men, think twice. Flurry reports that women spend more time and money on mobile games than their counterparts. Women make 31 percent more in-app purchases (IAPs), spend 35 percent more time in mobile gaming apps and retain at a 42 percent higher rate.

In a global context, women in developing countries use smartphones for both personal entertainment and to advance their financial independence via business. Qualcomm released a study tracking this advancement. If necessary, reconsider your marketing strategies and where you advertise to ensure you’re reaching your full potential audience.

Smartphones seem to have ended up being the great gender equalizer for games. While there certainly has always been a female market in console gaming, smartphones have brought games to a far larger audience.” 

Every quarter, App Annie releases a new study about global app trends. For more analysis on market trends, be on the lookout for a new report next quarter.


Rewards lead to higher engagement among users and better monetization for developers. 84 percent of mobile users have said they prefer mobile rewards vs. ads, and over 3,000 games and apps already use Kiip to monetize. Learn more about Kiip at kiip.me/developers.

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