Rise of the Planet Apps

Analysts from App Annie have revealed seven main trends in the mobile segment of the gaming industry. Among them: doubling of iPad app revenue, accelerated growth of IAP purchases and much more. 

The experts from App Annie made their report in the form of an infographic and called The Rise of the Planet of the Apps (almost the same as last year’s film about the rise of the monkeys). 

1. East Asia is the land of growing downloadsIn 2011, Apple had a good harvest in East Asia (in this case, China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea).

The Chinese “lands” turned out to be especially fertile, where there was a 298% increase in downloads and a 187% increase in income compared to last year. Japan showed a much more modest result: 98% increase in downloads and 88% increase in revenue. 

So now it is worth paying attention to these markets not only because of the size of their audience, but also due to the impressive growth rates. Simply put, East Asia is becoming an extremely important region for international publishers. By the way, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja already have their armies of fans in the East. 

2. Norway is a planet of expensive downloadsIf we compare countries by the amount of average income from each download, then Norway is ahead of the whole planet.

For every load in the country of fjords and harsh seafarers, fishermen account for $ 0.37 – this is nine times more than in China. 

By the way, experts from App Annie found that the correlation between GDP per capita and average income from each download is very small. Here, first of all, it is necessary to take into account other factors: the level of penetration of smartphones and the availability of market support for local currencies.

3. Most money in the USA and JapanThe app that ranks first in the American Top Grossing earns 10 times more than the most profitable Chinese app.


Interestingly, the income of the top application in the Japanese market is only 10% less than the income of its American “colleague”, although the number of smartphone users is noticeably smaller (only 1/6 of Japanese own similar devices). 

4. Revenues from microtransactions (IAP – In-App Purchase) are growing by leaps and boundsA significant increase in the number of shareware applications and, accordingly, income from in-game payments occurred before everyone’s eyes.

App Annie analysts went further, deciding to find out whether IAP applications really earn more. 

In January 2011, one hundred top applications with micropayments and one hundred top applications without them earned the same amount (per application). In December 2011, IAP applications earned 2.2 times more than applications without transactions. So, if you have a cool game at hand, then you can increase your profit by making it freemium. 

By the way, the leading publishers – EA, Glu and Gameloft – have been working this way for a long time. 

5. iPad downloads show good growth rates”I already have a Macbook Air and an iPhone, so why do I need an iPad?” – despite this familiar and still unresolved question, the number of downloads on the iPad increased by 200% in 2011 alone.

For comparison, their growth on the iPhone showed a “negligible” 70%.

App Annie also claims that, according to available data, the number of users who have switched from laptops and smartphones to tablets will only increase over time. By 2015, 60% of the PC device market will be occupied by tablets.

6. iPad is a huge piece of iOS pieiPad tablets currently provide 30% of iOS revenue – the iPhone and iPod Touch account for the remaining 70%.

A significant part of the profit goes to the development and marketing of new tablet models, one of which is likely to be presented to the public very soon. 

7. iPad collects twice as much moneyThe screen size of the iPad is almost twice the resolution of the iPhone and with each download it brings in 2.4 times more than an Apple smartphone.

Among other factors that may be influencing such a significant difference in “revenue”: the difference in the prices of applications, as well as in how users use these devices.

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