Asia leading the app market with 162pc growth in 2013 – report

23 Jan 2014

Asia was the largest downloader of apps last year, showing a 162pc increase in the number of apps downloaded, largely thanks to the Google Play app store, a new report suggests.

App analysis company Distimo released the report, which shows other markets have been left in the wake of Asia, where countries like South Korea, the home of companies like Samsung and LG, have seen a huge boom in sales.

The figures show that money generated in this one country grew by 271pc, largely in part to do with Google Play driving most of that growth.

Japan still remains the most lucrative country in terms of app downloads, with the chart below showing a significant difference over its neighbouring countries. The island nation has made more than 77 times as many downloads as Malaysia.

Asia apps downloads

Power of freemium

Despite warnings in some app-producing circles of the decline in the ‘freemium’ and in-app purchases (IAP), the model is the dominant business model among app companies, according to Distimo figures for December 2013.

Compared to the US, all the top Asian countries make more revenue from IAP than from one-off revenues.

China led the way, with apps generating 96pc of revenue from IAP. Japan and South Korea were closely behind China, with 94pc and 91pc of total revenue from IAP, respectively. The freemium model is across the board the dominant business model in Asia.

The most popular app last month was Angry Birds Go!, followed by a Chinese game which translates as ‘the hardest game in history’ and all apps bar one were downloaded mostly by Chinese users.

Apps image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic