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16 Feb, 2012

The “Rise of the Planet of the Apps”: 7 Key Trends

Hong Kong, China (PRWEB) February 16, 2012 — Today App Annie (appannie.com), an app store provider of analytics and market intelligence, unveils the 7 key trends in the “Rise of the Planet of the Apps”. App Annie’s premium service – ‘App Annie Intelligence’ – employs statistical and data models to generate what it claims to be “the most accurate market estimates available for app stores today”. Companies like EA, Microsoft, Nokia, Sega and Tencent are said to be using App Annie to identify macro trends in today’s international app store economy.

7 Key Growth Trends in the iOS App Store (To view this infographic, click here.)

1.    Of all markets, Norway earns more per download than any other: 9x more revenue per download compared to an app in China.

2.    Growth in China however grew 300% and revenue 180% over the last year, outstripping the growth of all other major markets.

3.    The US’s top grossing app in 2011 generated almost 10x the revenue of the top grossing app in China.

4.    Apps with in-app purchases are now monetizing at double the $ per download compared to apps without. That disparity has come about in the last 12 months.

5.    iPad downloads grew 200% in 2011, outstripping iPhone’s 70% growth.

6.    iPad revenues account for 30% of the entire iOS pie. Developers can no longer put off developing for iPad.

7.    iPad apps generate 2.4x more revenue per download compared to iPhone apps.

Planet of big money downloads: Norway

In a global comparison of average revenue per app downloaded, Norway is #1 at $0.37 per download, nine times more than China.* App Annie’s research finds there is only a loose correlation between GDP per capita and $ per download by country: factors such as smartphone penetration and local currency billing are more important.

East Asia – Land of the Rising Downloads

East Asia was fertile territory for Apple in 2011. China saw a 300% increase in downloads and a 180% increase in revenue. Japan saw a 100% increase in downloads, and a 87% increase in revenue. These markets are now significant not just because of their sheer size, but also their growth rate. East Asia is increasingly important for international app publishers: apps such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja already have huge audiences in these regions. In 2012, look for international app publishers to do more localization for Asian tastes in UI and strengthen their local marketing channels.

Biggest prize money in the US (and Japan)

The #1 grossing app in the US generates nearly 10x the revenue of the #1 app in China.* Interestingly the top app in Japan earns 90% of the top app in the US even though it has has only 1/6 the smartphone population (according to wired.com analysts). So your app needs a fraction of the users in Japan to earn the same revenue as in the US.

In-App Purchase (IAP) revenues rocket

The absolute growth of freemium and in-app purchase revenues has been well-documented. App Annie goes one level deeper to see if apps with in-app purchases actually earn more revenue on a per app basis. Their findings? In Jan 2011, the top 100 apps with IAP and without IAP were monetizing the same amount per app. But by Dec 2011, apps with IAP were monetizing 2.2X more than apps without IAP. If you have a great product, you’ll raise your revenue ceilings with a freemium rather than premium model. Leading publishers like EA, Gameloft and Glu are seeing their bets on freemium pay off big time.

Taking flight – Growth rate of iPad downloads

“Consumers already have a Macbook Air, and an iPhone, so do they need an iPad?” For app developers, this is a moot point: downloads on iPad grew 200% in 2011, compared to 70% for downloads on iPhone. Data suggests that the tablet will continue to convert notebook and smartphone owners at an increasing rate, and eventually represent 60% of the PC market by 2015 (SOURCE: IDC and Gartner).

iPad – A significant slice of the iOS pie

Revenues from iPad apps now account for 30% of overall iOS revenue, with iPhone and iTouch app revenues contributing 70%. This validates Apple’s continued efforts in iPad innovation and marketing, which the reported imminent release of iPad 3 will reward even more. This matters for Google, which has yet to establish their own consumer market for tablets.

iPad – double the dollar sunshine

The iPad, at 2.1x more pixels, is generating 2.4x more revenue per download compared to the iPhone. Other factors include the difference in app prices, and differences in consumer use. These characteristics require a different thought process in iPad design and development, going beyond simply increasing image resolutions for the bigger device.

China is the reference point in this comparison, but China is not the lowest revenue per #1 grossing app or in terms of revenue per download.


East Asia – Land of the Rising Downloads: A measure of the growth of downloads and revenues from all iOS apps in China and Japan from Jan 2011 to Dec 2011.

Biggest prize money in the US: An indexed measure of the local revenue earned in 2011 by the top grossing iOS app in each country.

In-App Purchase (IAP) revenues rocket: A measure of the total revenue earned by the top 100 grossing iOS apps with in-app purchase, and the top 100 grossing iOS apps without in-app purchase in 2011.

Taking flight – Growth rate of iPad downloads: A measure of the growth rate of iOS downloads on iPad against that on iPhone in 2011.

iPad – A significant slice of the iOS pie: A percentage breakdown of total iOS revenue (iPhone+iTouch, iPad) in 2011.

iPad – double the dollar sunshine: A measure of the revenue generated by iOS app download on iPad against that on iPhone in 2011.

To learn more about where all this data came from, visit http://www.appannie.com/infographic-rise