The market analysis and marketing firm App Annie has published its retrospective report on the main trends in the world of mobile applications for 2013 which will be of particular interest to all those who are involved in development or aspire to it.
Did you know, for example, that Android surpassed iOS in number of downloads but still doubles Google’s store in revenue? Or that Japan has become the main market for developers over the United States? Well, here are a lot of nice graphics to discover…
Google Play outperformed the App Store for the first time in number of downloads by 15%, although iOS has maintained its lead in terms of money by even widening the gap with its competitor to generate nearly twice as much revenue as Google for its platform developers.
Japan has become the first country in income generated by apps surpassing the United States. The Asian country has experienced a 330% growth during 2013.
The BRIC countries (Brazil, India and China) have begun to take off, increasing the number of downloads by 1.8x and revenues by 2.7x, setting the stage for a 2014 heart attack. Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Taiwan and Thailand lag behind with 1.6x and 2.8x increases in downloads and revenues respectively, while Japan, South Korea and the United States remain the strongest markets despite a slight decline in their growth rate: 1.1x for downloads and 2.5x for revenues.
Video games continue to follow the kings of mobile apps and revenue from them alone has been on the rise on the App Store since it overtook that of Sony and Nintendo laptops in late 2012. Since then, the trend has continued only that now Google Play has joined the club. Together, they managed to triple the turnover of laptop games during the third quarter of 2013.
The freemium model , free apps that obtain their income through added services or extras (for example, the classic coins to advance faster in a game), already proved their effectiveness in 2012 representing 86% of video game income . In 2013 the figure has only increased and now stands at 93%. As for the rest of the apps, this business model has also become more relevant and now represents 57% of revenues. The most successful in this sense within its main categories have been Puzzle and Dragons and Candy Crush Saga (Games), Line and Skype (Messaging), Pandora Radio and Rdio (Music Streaming), NYTimes and The Economist (News) and Zoosk and Badoo (Dating).
Instant Messaging applications such as WhatsApp, LINE or WeChat have evolved into media platforms and are set to become a major revenue stream by 2013 with the addition of games, stickers and other purchases within the app . Their next target? Music, books and e-commerce features.
The musical apps find their audience increasing their income by 77% compared to the previous year led by Pandora, a super hit in the United States. It’s interesting to find GarageBand in number 3 of the top ten music apps by combined App Store and Google Play revenue (although of course it’s only found in one store).
The photography and video recording applications have evolved to embrace their more social facet and even rival traditional social networks . Vine and Snapchat stood out in 2013 by using a time-limited format to boost users’ creativity, make their creations more entertaining and encourage their sharing. Instagram remains number one followed by YouTube, Snapchat, Vine and LINE Camera while the editing field ranking is formed by PicsArt Photo Studio, Camera360 Ultimate, Photo Editor by Aviary, Photo Grid – Collage Maker and Pic collage.
Finally, the mobile banking apps also experienced a sharp increase in the number of downloads between 2012 and 2013 on both the App Store and Google Play. We are increasingly using mobile phones to manage and access our account information, make payments or even exchange digital currencies such as Bitcoin, and the trend is towards an even stronger 2014.