Smartphone app downloads skyrocketing in Asia-Pacific
Forecast from independent telecoms analyst Ovum shows Asia-Pacific mobile app downloads reaching almost five billion in 2011, almost triple last year.
By the year’s end, almost five billion mobile applications will have been downloaded by smartphone users in the Asia-Pacific region. That represents growth of 189 percent from the 1.6 billion apps downloaded in 2010, according to Ovum’s Mobile Application Download and Revenue Forecast 2011-16, released this week. Over the next five years, yearly downloads will triple.
The independent telecoms analyst also forecasts Google’s Android operating system to overtake Apple’s iOS platform in number of app downloads for the first time this year, while Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system will take third place from BlackBerry.
But despite app downloads on Android predicted to almost double iOS by 2016, Apple’s platform will continue to be the greater money-maker for app developers. Android’s growth is due to its increasing popularity and progress into lower price points. For marketers this means the user base of each platform is developing increasingly distinct characteristics. “Let’s have an app!” is not enough. Depending on the target market, one platform may be a viable channel through which to reach them while another may not.
Ovum’s consumer telecoms principal analyst, Eden Zoller, notes that more affluent segments in emerging markets are now familiar with mobile applications, and therefore expectations have risen. “There is less tolerance for second-rate applications and this is making consumers increasingly more selective and discerning,” she says.
This latest report comes on the back of research being presented today at the Australian Marketing and Social Research conference in Sydney that found mobile phones are a savvy way to reach the ever-elusive youth market when conducting research. The study’s authors found that market research conducted via smartphones is an effective way to connect with the 18-44 year old segment that has internet access at their fingertips, and are also more likely to respond to research through this channel than any other demographic.