When China surpassed the US in terms of smartphone shipment volume in Q1 2013, it was evident that the comfortably ruling mobile market of the US was facing fierce competition.
This changed things.
The UK and US were no longer the sole focus of advertisers, and a willingness to expand to China was being fuelled. At InMobi, we see China as only a part of a bigger opportunity of the Eastern mobile markets as a whole – China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and SEA.
The common perception of Eastern mobile app markets being too different from those in the West keeps developers from expanding to these markets. Truth is, they’re not all that different.
Figure 1: Mobile user demographics for the US and Hong Kong
Figure 2: Mobile media consumption share by activity
Figure 3: Android and iOS share comparison.
But, being afflicted with difficulties, the only way to break into these markets successfully is to understand the complexities and tackle them. Here is a look at some of the challenges and the right approach that can overcome these:
Integrating the local social networking sites (Sina Weibo, Tencent in China) in your app can also help achieve popularity through social marketing.
The result: 28% uplift in revenues and 128% uplift in downloads for the localized apps – all worth the effort.
Figure 4: Third Party App Stores in China
The right approach is a perfect balance between scale and ROI. Launching to the top app stores can help achieve the right scale at decreased cost and effort, maximizing ROI. Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are different app store segments based on cities, specific demographic markets like married women with kids, specific categories like gaming, and so on. Careful selection of app stores based on the kind of apps you make can also really make all the difference.
Figure 5: Download revenue share in China
With the combined download volume of these markets closing in on 7 billion in Q1 2013, and 370 million users waiting to download your app, one cannot ignore the huge potential that lies here. Watch this space for more as we help bridge the knowledge gap via comprehensive infographics on the mobile markets of each of the Eastern countries.