Study shows US share of the mobile apps industry is shrinking

Alan O'Doherty
August 30, 2013

A study has revealed that more mobile apps are being produced outside the US than within it.

Mobile analytics blog Flurry has published statistics that show that the US’s dominance of the software industry is weakening, with 36% of mobile apps produced in 2013 coming from within the USA, compared to 55% in both 2012 and 2011.

However, it’s also important to note that while many apps are being produced in other countries, apps from the USA still see the highest levels of engagement from users, though America’s share is falling here too. In 2012 just 24% of active apps came from outside the US; this year it was 30%.

Internationally US made apps still tend to dominate foreign markets although, unsurprisingly, domestically produced apps tend to be popular in their own countries (UK made apps get more use in the UK, Brazilian apps in Brazil etc). The major exception is China where 64% of mobile apps used on a regular basis are produced domestically with the US claiming just 16% of the market.

US developers will have to adapt if they want to stake a claim on emerging markets such as China where the potential for growth is huge as adoption of smartphones and tablets rises. Part of the challenge will come from translating the languages apps use but US developers will also have to do their research to understand what kinds of apps will appeal to different cultures around the world. There are always going to be apps that are useful no matter what country you’re in but understanding how foreign markets shop, work and play will be essential if developers are to transfer domestic success to the international market.

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