The Game of App Installs – What Country To Bet On In 2017

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Partner Post - GOWIDE Global Mobile Inventory Converted To Results

Posted: February 20, 2017

When considering the next step of business development, you’ve probably already thought of developing a mobile app for iOS or Android, or probably both. Whatever the case is, you might have also wondered what region or continent you’d want to start from once your app has been developed. Consider this article as the go-to-for-infographics, most relevant statistics based on reputable reports from 2016 and professional predictions for 2017.
The mobile market in general has seen a lot of changes since its dawn, but what awaits app publishers and mobile users in the coming year is rather impressive. “China, USA and India now contribute to half of the global smartphone shipments”, – announced Counterpoint in its press release. If the following statement answers the main question to why you decided to engage into reading this article, you may quit right now as that is the state of affairs in a nutshell. However, you might still be interested to learn more about why these top three countries, being essentially different in their cultures, GDP and market share dominance have become the leaders in the battle for most app downloads.
Let’s begin with India. India, a country famous not only for its spices, cuisine and scenic landscapes, but now also for its great Android smartphones penetration. Q1-Q3 2016 were looking very promising for the ‘Made in India’ handset makers including Micromax, Intex and Lava, as their total number outreached 83 million. However, Q4 took a sudden turn when domestically manufactured smartphones took a 18% slip and rolled over for Chinese brands contributing to 46 per cent of the total smartphone market.
Indian smartphone market, market shared Q4, 2016, Q4 2015

Looking back at the last few months in 2016, the Indian smartphone market would show a more or less similar figures among the brands: Samsung secured a 24 per cent share, followed by Vivo with around 10 per cent, Xiaomi and Lenovo that shared 9 per cent each and Oppo.
Apple occupied a humble spot becoming the 10th in the smartphone rankings.
Indian mobile market analysis, regardless of the smartphone brand, has shown stunning results as they revealed that this developing region had surpassed the USA and Brazil to become the country that downloaded the most Android apps from the Google Play store, according to 2016 Retrospective Report from App Annie. Indians also succeeded in most time spent using Android mobile apps.
Based on the research released by Counterpoint more than 260 million people in India have a smartphone, which also suggests that almost 94 percent of all smartphones shipped in the country run on Android.
If your course of actions involves iOS, it’s important to note that in 2016, according to the same App Annie report, China became the largest market in terms of App Store revenue. In addition,  the report predicts that China will generate the largest revenue growth for any country by 2020.
Top 3 Countries by Quaterly iOS App Store Revenue

It has become apparent that the future is with non-game brands and product companies switching to mobile, games revenue still show 4.43 times more than the rest of the App Stores categories combined, based on what SensorTower depicted in its report.
With 90.1 million iPhone users the US remains a quite a lucrative market, especially for app developers whose primary vertical is Games (87 percent of revenues). The remaining 13% came entertainment companies providing streaming services, such as Spotify, HBO, and Hulu. Among non-game apps, the championship was divided between the old timers, i.e. Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and YouTube.
Number of iPhone users in the US from 2012 to 2016 (in millions)

Now, let’s take a quick break and indulge in a small teaser: it is expected that in 2017 there will be 253.91 free and 14.78 billion paid app downloads worldwide.
“What about LATAM?”, you may ask. “Everyone’s talking about LATAM these days”. Indeed they are and so they should.
It is predicted that in 2017-2019 Latin America’s mobile internet ad spending will rise from $3.92 to $7.92 billion. The International Data Corporation (IDC) shows high expectations for Brazil as well as the rest of the region to see triple-digit growth in programmatic digital display ad spending throughout the whole year. What’s even more exciting is that total investments should nearly double in 2018.
“The Dominican Republic (690M sessions) and Bolivia (538M sessions), while not ranking in the top 10 countries for sessions, had the highest year-over-year growth in session activity, with 116% and 155% respectively.” – says Flurry.
Utilities/Productivity apps have found a particularly interesting recognition among Android phablet users in this part of the world and a steady decline of feature phone shipments.
Top App Categories in Latin America

All in all, if you’re planning to launch or expand your existing mobile app’s presence in a few strategic territorial zones, be mindful of a few other bedrock elements of a functional marketing campaign a) localization; b) key targeted audience; c) User Acquisition expense and ROI.