App Annie has just released its second quarter market index report, the most complete and accurate analysis available of the global app market. The report shows the macro trends that are emerging in the app ecosystem across countries, stores, and categories. Sourced from App Annie’s platform, App Annie Intelligence, the data represents more than 150 countries across Google Play and the iOS App Store.
App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt says, “One of the most striking trends from this quarter’s report is the skyrocketing growth across Asia in both Google Play and iOS. Japan and China continue to thrive, but the growth in India – where only 10 percent of the population is smartphone-enabled – is hugely significant for publishers as they look for new markets to explore.”
Emerging markets are clearly becoming a tremendous significance to app publishers. Growth in India, Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, along with other Asian markets is the driving force behind the trends in the app ecosystem.
The iOS App Store leads the way in revenue generated during the quarter, with 80 percent more revenue than than Google Play. China and Japan continue to be the main drivers of revenue growth; Japan is the leading country in combined Google Play and App Store revenue, with new games as the primary factor. And iOS revenue is continuing a strong upward movement, increasing 20 percent over the first quarter of 2014, reaching a record high revenue of almost $10 billion. Taiwan, Kuwait and Turkey also contributed significantly to iOS App Store revenue; each of these countries showed growth of 30 percent, quarter-over-quarter.
Google Play is experiencing explosive growth, especially in the emerging markets, with 60 percent more downloads than the iOS App Store. This is an increase from the first quarter of 2014, when Google Play led in downloads by 45 percent, and only one year ago, Google Play downloads were just 10 percent higher than iOS App Store downloads.
India is experiencing substantial growth in Google Play downloads, up two positions to the number three spot this quarter. This growth is attributed mainly to large numbers of consumers switching to smartphones from feature phones, although smartphones still have only 10 percent market penetration. Smartphone penetration is expected to rise, as more low-cost smartphone options reach the market.
Brazil also showed considerable growth in Google Play downloads; their market share doubled over the previous quarter in the Sports category as a result of hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The country is also of interest to Apple; February saw the opening of their first store in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil was not the only country with growth affected by the World Cup. The entire Sports category experienced 20 percent growth in the quarter, impacted by significant increases in downloads in Germany, Argentina, and the United States. And FIFA’s official app took off around the world.
Despite these advances in Asian and emerging markets, the United States remains the top ranked country in iOS downloads and revenue. It also has the top rank in Google Play downloads and second in Google Play revenue. Clearly established markets are still very important in the app ecosystem.