With 2.6 million  apps available and 150 billion app downloads, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have come a long way since their 2008 launch. With more developers than ever before and smartphone penetration on a rise in emerging and developing countries, the mobile economy is booming.
As developers pursue user acquisition and monetization strategies, many questions need answering. Which countries are driving growth? Which markets download the most? What OS has the majority market share, and who earns developers the most?
The latest InMobi report, State of App Downloads and Monetization, based on InMobi Network research from 2014, answers these questions, and many more. Here, we present some interesting patterns and insights.
Regionally Your’s: Market Shares, Costs, and Earnings by Geo
The developing Asia Pacific region had the largest shares of both ad impressions (49%) and app installs (47%), followed by North America. Also, the latter region continued to be the land of both the highest earnings (eCPM) and costs (CPI), closely followed by Europe.
World-wide, ad impressions grew by 62% and app installs by 28%. Asia Pacific expanded its already-large user base and witnessed positive growth in both ad impressions and app installs. Europe, however, did see a decline in app installs, and Africa, in ad impressions.
The key to garnering high app installs as well as great eCPMs is for developers to strike a balance between mature First World markets, and the buoyant, developing markets of Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Of Android and iOS
Android continued to rule the ad impressions and app installs market, especially in Latin America (87% share) and Asia Pacific (66% share). App developers earned the most from iOS apps all around the world, especially in North America and Europe. But, to modify Stan Lee’s famous quote, with with great earnings come great costs. Not surprisingly, iOS apps in North America and Europe also saw the highest install costs.
Android is already a powerhouse with a wide user base. But the reach of high-monetizing iOS can only increase from now. Only time will tell how this duopoly will play out
In part one of this series, we saw that 2014 was year that clearly cemented iOS as the top-earning platform for developers, despite Android phones outselling their Apple counterparts. We also saw that the North America region earned developers the most (and also cost them the most). But developing regions began to flex their muscles. The unsaturated, cheaper markets of Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America have tremendous untapped potential.
But how should developers go about doing this? What are the key metrics to consider when looking to monetize? In other words, how do the dynamics of the app economy work? For all this, and more, stay tuned for the next part in this series!
Click here to start the Insights journey with our report.
Interested in understanding more about this report and how it could impact your business? Reach out to our insights team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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,  Data from Google's I/O and Apple's WWDC 2014