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China Will Drive App Downloads Past 235bn This Year

Tim Maytom

Asian woman using smartphone on sofa living roomThe number of apps downloaded onto smartphones and tablets is expected to rise by almost 28 per cent this year, hitting 235bn by the end of 2015, driven largely by growth in the Chinese market.

In fact, in terms of download volumes, China accounts for five of the leading seven app stores, with local storefronts benefiting from Google's near-exclusion from the Chinese marketplace.

China's most popular app store, run by Baidu, is very effectively integrated into the company's search engine, and has now overtaken Apple's App Store to become the second-largest storefront globally.

The figures, which come from a report by Juniper Research, show that while Chinese consumers accounted for nearly 60 per cent of downloads last year, but still lag considerably behind the US and Japan in terms of app revenues. In fact, revenues per download was nearly nine times higher for the US, and over 14 times higher in Japan.

While games remain the most mature and lucrative app sector, there is still room for growth in both developed and developing markets. The report highlighted the strong migration occurring from handheld game consoles to mobile, and the continued increase in social gaming. Meanwhile, as network operators bundle multimedia apps with customer subscriptions, adoption and monetisation of these type of apps is likely to be fuelled.

"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," said Dr Windsor Holden, author of the report.

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