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App downloads will rise in 2015, China will lead the way

The number of apps downloaded to smartphones and tablets is expected to rise by 28 per cent this year, a new study suggests.

That means over 235 billion apps downloaded.

Research and analytics specialists Juniper Research published a report called ‘Apps & App Stores: Market Trends & Forecasts 2015-2019’, in which it’s claimed that the growth is attributable to the growth of the Chinese market.

Last year it accounted for almost 60 per cent of downloads worldwide.

According to the report, local storefronts have benefitted from Google’s near exclusion from the Chinese marketplace, with access to Google’s Play store severely restricted by the GFoC (Great Firewall of China).

Google is restricted in China because of its no-censorship policy.

As a result, Baidu’s app store – which is effectively integrated into the company’s search engine – has now eclipsed Apple’s App Store to become the second-largest storefront in terms of download volumes.

Furthermore, China now accounts for five of the leading seven app stores by that metric.

China is still behind the US and Japan in terms of app revenues. In the US revenues per download are nine times higher and more than 14 times higher in Japan.

The Games app sector is the most mature and lucrative, the report says.

As author Dr Windsor Holden observed, “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”.

The whitepaper, The App Landscape Today, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report and the attendant Interactive Forecast Excel (IFxl).