Data & Research

The Asian app market grew 162% in 2013, accounting for 41% of global sales

And it's only going to get bigger

The Asian app market grew 162% in 2013, accounting for 41% of global sales

The Asia app ecosystem is a freight train that can't be stopped.

That's the conclusion of the latest piece of market intelligence from Distimo.

It's been working with Chinese Android distribution channel Wandoujia to dig into the velocity of the Chinese market; something it's combined with insights into the Korean and Japanese markets.

Its headline figure is that Asia now represents 41 percent of the global market, compared to 31 percent for North America and 23 percent for Europe.

Fastest, biggest

There are many reasons for this rise.

The Korean and Japanese markets have closely mirrored the western transition from feature phone to smartphones and are highly lucrative thanks to their wealthy populations, which have always been phone-centric.

The rest of Asia is poorer and has been slower to get smartphones but its sheer scale will power the region to further triple-digit growth during 2014.

Combined sales for iOS and Android in Asia grew 162 percent from December 2012 to December 2013 according to Distimo.

Of course, Android is the main winner in the region when it comes to the OS wars. In Asia, the revenue split between iOS and Android is 50:50 compared to 75:25 in iOS' favour in the US and Europe.

Time to play

And it's Android that's driven the rise.

Apple has done well with iPhone revenues up 94 percent and iPad revenues up 64 percent in Asia during 2013, but starting from a lower base, Google Play revenues in Asia more than quadrupled.

(And remember the Google Play total doesn't include China, where the majority of Android revenue is through local channels, not Google's official app store).

The power of the OS in the region can also be seen in the following graph, which breaks out the proportional of Google Play and iOS revenue in the top 6 Asian markets.

You can check out the full Distimo report here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.