Asia’s mobile users generated more app revenue than mobile users in any other region in the world in December 2013, according to a new report from Distimo.
Data was calculated by looking at revenue from app downloads from the iOS App Store for both iPhone and iPad as well as revenue from the Android Google Play store.
- Asia grabbed about 41% of global app revenue for the month, ahead of North America (31%) and Europe (23%).
Most of Asia’s app revenue growth is being driven by Google Play: revenue in Asia from the Android app market more than quadrupled since December 2012, whereas Apple App Store revenue grew 94%.
- Among the countries in Asia, South Korea showed the highest annual growth in total app revenue, at 271%.
- The six Asian countries with the highest app revenue, including China, Hong Kong, and Japan, each saw their country’s total app revenue more than double.
- Asia also outpaced every other region in terms of app revenue growth, with 162% growth since December of last year. The only other region to post triple-digit growth was Africa, with 114% growth.
Right now, Distimo claims that revenue is divided evenly in Asia between Google Play and Apple’s App Store, which makes it an entirely different landscape than North America, where Apple’s share is closer to 75%.
It should be noted that Distimo could not include revenue data for Google Play in China. That said, Google Play’s influence in China is minimal as Android users in the country only download 5.6% of apps from the Google Play store. Nonetheless, if we were to add in Google Play revenues in China, Google’s app revenue share in Asia overall would further increase compared to Apple’s App Store.
China represents one of the most lucrative markets for future app revenue growth and an important battleground for Google and Apple as they continue to monetise mobile users. China is about to see a huge rise in smartphone adoption. But already, Android holds a distinct advantage over Apple in terms of smartphone market share in China.
Yet as the minimal number of Google Play app downloads in the country shows, China’s app ecosystem seems to be heavily fragmented with multiple alternative Android app stores. So Google has work to do to unify the Android app market in China. But if it can, it has a huge opportunity to create a massive app revenue lead over Apple in Asia.
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