Interest in mobile apps builds in Asia

ABI Research expects annual mobile application downloads to continue increasing and to peak in 2013, with Asia becoming a key market. With North America and Europe slowly reaching maturity after experiencing a period of high growth, emerging countries in the Asian market are expected to take the spotlight. According to the latest forecasts by ABI Research, application downloads in Asia-Pacific will experience a CAGR of early 30% and growth in application revenues of just over 20% during the period 2009-2015. iOS and Android handset owners currently account for 75% of total application downloads and the are expected to continue leading the market until 2015.

“We are getting more announcements of 3G networks about to launch commercially in Asian countries such as India, and more smartphones being shipped to Asia; this will prime these large untapped markets for mobile application downloads,” says Fei Feng Seet, research associate with ABI research. “However, revenues generated from sales of mobile applications are expected to decline, due to high competition driving down average selling price of applications.”

Application downloads in the Asia-Pacific region are forecast to reach 2.4 billion, or about 20% of the world’s total available market, by 2013. India and China, the two most populated countries, are expected to underpin much of that Asia-Pacific application growth. Many popular mobile games such as “Plants vs. Zombies” by PopCap Games have shot back into top positions in the download lists after promotional price drops to $0.99.

ABI Research practice director Neil Strother adds, “With more applications being added daily, competition will be tough. Developers have to consider alternative business models such as in-app purchases and advertisements, to boost their profit margins and revenue.”