App downloads rocket thanks to China


Downloads of apps to exceed 235 billion in 2015 as Chinese market continues to surge


The number of apps downloaded to mobile handsets and tablets is expected to rise by nearly 28% this year to over 235 billion, according to a new study.
In its report ‘Apps & App Stores: Market Trends & Forecasts 2015-2019’, Juniper Research argues that the recent surge in app downloads is in large part attributable to phenomenal growth in the Chinese market, which last year accounted for nearly 60% of downloads worldwide.

According to the report, local storefronts have benefitted from Google’s near exclusion from the Chinese marketplace, with access to Google’s Play store severely restricted by the Great Firewall of China (GFoC). As a result, Baidu’s app store, which is effectively integrated into the company’s search engine, has now eclipsed Apple’s App Store to become the second-largest storefront in terms of download volumes. Furthermore, China now accounts for five of the leading seven app stores by that metric.

However, the report found that China still lags behind both the US and Japan in terms of app revenues, with revenues per download nearly nine times higher in the US and more than 14 times higher in Japan.

Meanwhile, it observed that the continuing trend away from the pay per download model now saw that monetisation option accounting for just 12% of all app revenues.

The report added that although games is the most mature and lucrative app sector, there is significant scope for growth in both developed and developing markets, highlighting strong migration from handheld game consoles and continued social gaming growth.

It claimed that adoption and monetisation of multimedia apps is likely to be further fuelled as network operators bundle multimedia applications with customer subscriptions. As report author Dr Windsor Holden observed: “Broadcasters are now offering distinct and bolt-on mobile packages, a trend which will gain further impetus as customers migrate to larger screen phablet devices.”


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