Commentary

China Leads in iOS App Downloads, US Tops in Revenue

China has overtaken the United States in app downloads for Apple devices but when it comes to revenue the U.S. continues to dominate.

China’s iOS quarterly downloads from the App Store grew 30% over the same quarter last year, according to a recent global app tabulation.

And much of the action in iOS apps in China relates to mobile commerce, according to the latest report from App Annie Intelligence, which tracks downloads and revenue in the iOS App Store and Google Play.

The figures represent iOS App Store revenue for paid downloads and in-app purchases and exclude revenue from in-app advertising or outside commerce.

Mobile commerce in China is on a tear, at least from the perspective of app downloads.

Among the China iOS App Store’s top 20 lifestyle apps by download, 17 are mobile commerce related. Those apps relate to online shopping, shopping guides, service ordering, daily deals, local business reviews and classifieds.

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And downloads of those 17 apps grew 85% from a year ago.

As further evidence of mobile commerce growth, at China’s largest online payment platform Alipay, mobile payments accounted for the majority (54%) of all transactions.

Revenue tends to follow explosive download growth, at least based on the pattern in the U.S. and Japan.

While mobile revenue grew 90% in China compared to 30% in the U.S. and 50% in Japan, it still ranks a distant third to the U.S. and Japan by revenue per iOS device.

As context, online retail sales globally are projected to hit $995 billion this year, according to the Global E-Commerce Index by A.T. Kearney, as I wrote about here recently (US Hits #1 in Online Retail Sales Rank; China 2, UK 3).

That study showed the U.S. to be the top online commerce market followed by China, the U.K. and Japan.

The mobile commerce phenomenon is truly global in nature with consumers in just about every market pushing it along.

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