Unsurprising news this afternoon thanks to following research by App Annie, who have released a report highlighting some interesting mobile trends.
Despite some controversial business practices, the game, which is essentially a combination of “Bejewelled” and “Your Wallet” was the most popular app in terms of number of downloads in 2013. In terms of revenue bought in – it also tops the charts globally:
Other interesting stats out of the report suggests that in June 2013 for the first time the amount of money spent on mobile games eclipsed those of handheld games consoles – which they note could be why Nintendo has issued a profit warning in recent weeks.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that it turns out that one of the biggest apps in the world is one that you’ve probably never heard of. Line is a messaging app with similarities to the likes of WhatsApp and BBM – and whilst those latter apps have conquered mobile here in Britain – in Japan the kidz love to use Line… and apparently, love spending money with Line too, with it being the most profitable non-game.
Similarly shocking is a chart showing the most popular publishers of apps. Being British, it is perhaps easy to assume that the West dominates – surely American, European and British companies are all going to be the top ones? It turns out… not so much.
It turns out that whilst the US is indeed home to five of the largest publishers that China is the next biggest – with Chinese social network Baidu amongst them. Even the European entries are a little weird – with one company based in repressive Belarus, and not, as you might expect, in the more prosperous European Union. So much for US hegemony – Noam Chomsky must be laughing.
So are apps a sign of things to come? The trend towards China is notable – and today’s news of Google’s sale of Motorola to Chinese firm Lenovo is further proof that this is China’s century. I just hope they keep translating their apps into English.
By James O'Malley | January 30th, 2014