Hampshire, UK: 25th February 2015:: A new report from Juniper Research has found that the number of apps downloaded to mobile handsets and tablets is expected to rise by nearly 28% this year to over 235 billion.
The report, ‘Apps & App Stores: Market Trends & Forecasts 2015-2019’ 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.
The Great Firewall of China
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 GFoC (Great Firewall of China). 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 5 of the leading 7 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 9 times higher in the US and more than 14 times higher in Japan. Meanwhile, it observed that the continuing trend away from the PPD (Pay Per Download) model now saw that monetisation option accounting for just 12% of all app revenues.
Games Predominate, But Multimedia Bundles Prosper
The report argued 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.
Meanwhile, 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”.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.