“The worldwide app market continues to grow as Google Play revenue climbs in the United States, and China leads iOS growth” – this is the key finding of App Annie’s Q1 2014 market analysis (http://blog.appannie.com/app-annie-index-market-q1-2014/#sthash.QMDuuScf.dpuf).
Key highlights of the App Annie report are:
- Google Play worldwide downloads now exceed iOS App Store downloads by around 45%, driven by growth in emerging markets. Russia and Brazil have been on the rise for some time now, but Mexico and Turkey also had a strong influence on Google Play downloads in Q1 2014.
- The iOS App Store remains comfortably ahead in worldwide revenue, generating about 85% more revenue than Google Play. This gap narrowed over the last quarter though, as Google Play revenue increased markedly in the United States and United Kingdom.
- China was the key market for iOS App Store growth, showing exceptional gains in both downloads and revenue. iOS App Store revenue in China grew around 70% quarter-over-quarter.
- Games remained the key category driving growth in both app stores. However, there was also growth in categories outside of Games. Tools saw gains in Google Play revenue, dominated by anti-virus and security apps. On iOS, Finance grew in revenue during tax season in the United States.
- Messaging apps remained a huge growth area, contributing to the gains for the Communication category on Google Play and Social Networking on iOS.
According to App Annie Intelligence estimates, the ranking of the top five countries in the iOS App Store by both downloads and revenue remained remarkably stable in Q1 2014. However, there was still significant growth for the top countries with China making strong gains, as it has done for several quarters.
With a substantial rise in both downloads and revenue, China is now a dominant force in the worldwide growth of the iOS App Store. In January, Apple completed a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the country’s largest carrier with over 700 million subscribers. This deal reportedly drew one million new iPhone users in China in February alone. Rising demand for iPhones in China in Q4 2013 indicates that further gains may also be made for Apple outside of the China Mobile deal. During Q1 2014, downloads in China saw strong growth from apps within the Games, Travel, and Social Networking categories. Revenue growth in China was even stronger than download growth, rising by around 70% quarter-over-quarter. It was again Games that accounted for the majority of growth, with Social Networking apps also making a significant contribution.
App Annie’s report is good news for mobile gaming developers in general, such as G5 Entertainment, and Chinese players in particular, such as CMGE. iOS AppStore revenue growth of 70% quarter-on-quarter in China should bode well for CMGE’s growth as well.