report from analytics firm Distimo, the iPhone app download volume in Asian countries, led by China, has seen significant increases over the past 6 months, even as Western markets saw decreases. And China is now the second largest market in this area, after the U.S.According to a new
However, even though the numbers of downloads are increasing in this region, the proportion of paid downloads and overall revenue is lagging behind both the U.S. and Europe. That means developers wanting to expand their businesses into Asia need to have other monetization plans in mind, such as advertising.
Download Volumes Analyzed
The report looks at select countries in Asia in detail, including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Distimo found that in South Korea, the download volume is remarkably high, despite the relative small size of the country's population. Interestingly, this is true even though the "Games" category is missing from the iTunes App Store in that country. In all other countries studied, the "Games" category was, by far, the largest.
In the chart below, the download volume of the top 300 most popular applications is depicted with the highest number of downloads in pink and the lowest in dark blue. Here, you can see which countries are leading in number of app downloads, notably the U.S. and now China, which has seen large increases over the past months. India has also increased 27% and Thailand 40% since December.
South Korea, as noted previously, has a very high download volume - it's even higher than larger countries like Germany and France.
In comparing all the most popular categories of apps between the U.S. and Asian markets, Distimo found there were no significant differences in the type of applications preferred. However, the majority of the most popular applications in Asia are regionally specific, as opposed to apps that are popular worldwide. Localization appears to be a key to becoming popular in some countries, like China, South Korea and Japan more than it does in other countries like India and Indonesia.
Although the average download volume of the 300 most popular apps (free and paid) across all Asian countries is about equal to that in the U.S., when looking only at the paid apps, the ratio drops to a third. The total revenue for paid apps in Asia is around two-thirds of that in the U.S.
Below, you can see the average selling price per country and the proportion of the downloads that are paid, among the top 300 apps.
There are more details and information on each specific market in the full report here.