China overtakes U.S. for iOS app downloads

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App Annie
China is now beating the United States on iOS downloads. Photo: App Annie

 

Tim Cook has been staunchly outspoken in his belief that it’s only a matter of time before China overtakes the U.S. as Apple’s biggest customer.

According to a new report from app analytics company App Annie, that benchmark has now been passed when it comes to app downloads — with China leading the way in the first quarter of 2015.

But which country is winning in the all-important revenue generating category?

App downloads
Things aren’t quite so cut-and-dried when it comes to the correlation between downloads and revenue, however.

Interestingly, here China shrinks back to the number three spot — behind both the United States and the much-smaller Japan, which has a population of just 127.3 million versus China’s 1.357 billion.

While China saw strong growth in iOS revenue during the year’s first quarter, it was not enough to reclaim its lead in the download category.

Since pre-orders of the exclusive gold Apple Watch Edition sold out within one hour of their going on sale in China, and iPhone market share in the country has never been higher, Apple is having no problem selling hardware to Chinese customers. But when it comes to software, today’s report suggests that far, far fewer people are willing to pay for it.

Given that Apple makes the lion’s share of its revenue from selling physical products that’s not exactly a troubling trend, but it’s certainly something to take on board as Apple continues to market and more heavily toward a Chinese audience.

Source: App Annie