China became the second largest market in terms of iPhone app downloads, report says

24 Jun
Recent study by Distimo shows that, download volume for iPhone applications in Asia increased in general, and China became the second largest market after the United States.
Distimo illustrated the trend on different areas of Apple App Store for iPhone for May 2011 , including paid vs. free apps download ratio for the Asian market, download volumes over the world, proportion of regional popular only applications, as well as proportional revenue of in-app purchases for the world. The company also highlighted some interesting finding in the report.
 Download Volumes Over The World
Download volume in Asian countries grew significantly in the past six months, especially China and South Korea. China recently became the second largest market after the United States. South Korea, comparably a smaller country and population, is with a remarkably high download volume, especially the fact that the Games category is absent in the region. Game developers might be disappointed here, but it’s a huge opportunity for non-games developers.
However, compare to the United States and Europe, the proportion of paid app downloads and revenue is still low in Asian Market. Also, in-app purchase is not very popular among Asian markets, with the exception of Singapore and Malaysia.
Asian Market Characteristics
Another interesting finding is on the “cultural difference” of apps. The majority of the most popular iPhone apps in Asia is only popular in Asia, and localization appears to be more important in some regions like China, South Korea and Japan.
China market is a giant for Apple. Tim Cook, COO of Apple, revealed in April that for the first three months in 2011, iPhone sales in Greater China grew by 250 percent from the same period last year. The revenue generated in Greater China accounts for about 10 percent of Apple’s revenue, which represented a 4 times growth form 2010. With strong sales and revenue, Tim Cook was even spotted in China Mobile’s headquarter, and rumored to have ongoing negotiations on 4G iPhone in China.
However, does these rumors and good news eventually made developers happy? From the report, seems that developers might need more effort to encourage users to spend more on apps so as to monetize.
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