The Asia Pacific (APAC) is the fastest-growing region for mobile app growth worldwide where it accounts for 64% of global mobile app downloads. Its vast development of the internet and networks creates incredible improvement in the mobile market that even beats the Western world.
APAC mobile users engage with their apps more than users from other regions. In Southeast Asia alone, 324 million people actively spend their time on their smartphones daily and its internet economy is forecasted to generate $300 billion in 2025.
Moreover, the Asia Pacific’s post-pandemic 2021 Adjust report shows drastic changes in download growth. For instance, install growth in Singapore jumped from 2% to 47% from 2020 to 2021. However, it is not the only thing that shifts. Overall consumer app usage habits are also transformed. It shows significant improvement in the time spent, the number of sessions daily, and the length of the average session spent on the app.
APAC is indeed an excellent selection for app businesses given the exciting rhapsody of a market full of promises and opportunities.
The East vs. The West
It is vital to understand the differences between these two markets because of the fact that some apps are failing once they tried to cross their region. The business environment, effective strategy-making, communication, operation, and execution are all different.
The app marketing strategy that successfully works in the West might not work in the East, and vice versa. Your success in other international markets should not give you a false sense of safety.
There are some areas that an app marketer must put in mind when it comes to dealing with Eastern and Western markets. Here are some examples:
Mobile Operating System
It is the battle between ioS and Android. Americans love their Apple products while APAC, like Indonesia, India, and China, is a big market for budget-friendly Android phones. For instance, ioS downloads reach 51% in the US but in APAC it only accounts for 17%.
Corresponding to the mobile operating system, the market in APAC is highly penetrated with Android phones such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Samsung is the most popular brand for APAC which accounts for 24.91% market share.
However, one thing to remember is that these devices are mostly of low technical specification. It is vital for the apps to not consume too much space and storage.
As for Apple, its APAC market share is only 17.91%. However, for North America, the number is as high as 51% despite the inflation and supply chain woes.
It is important to consider this aspect as app marketers need to adjust their app distribution strategy within these continents.
APAC is a culturally rich region consisting of many countries that speak different languages, amounting to mind-boggling 2,000 languages spoken daily. So, even though English is a universal language, your app might not be delivered and used well by people in this region, especially in countries like China, Korea, and Japan where they are less versed in English.
(You can read more about app localization and language in our article here).
APAC Most Popular App Category
The most popular app category downloaded in APAC is games. People love to play games and Asians are no different. Hyper casual and non-hyper casual gaming grew impressively from 2019 onwards and it is not stopping. APAC spends $12 billion annually on games with users from South Korea and Japan topping the in-app expenditure.
The rapid growth of the games category in this region is credited to young users. Another reason is that these users engage with their mobile games daily. It also offers mobile game developers a heap of opportunities to introduce new features.
Asia Pacific App Install Ad Spend
The app market in APAC dominates over half of the $118 billion global app install ad spend in 2022. The region is estimated to grow around 27% year-over-year throughout this year.
The first place within the APAC region is China, a country with a staggering 900 million smartphone users. Even though it is rather tricky to measure since Google Play does not perform in the country, a conservative predicts that the country will generate around $22 billion for app install ad spend.
On the other hand, even though India and Indonesia are among the most populated countries in the world, they are forecasted to only reach $1.2 billion and $800 million respectively due to their relatively low-cost media (around $0.28 for India and $0.70 for Indonesia per install).
The Asia Pacific is a land full of promises with 4.3 billion people and it is an important market for app businesses worldwide. Moreover, there is no doubt that there are abundant opportunities for app developers and app marketers in this region. However, deep market understanding in this culture and language heavy market is absolutely necessary to execute your strategy in the right way.