China overtakes US in Apple App Store spending

New York, Oct 23 (IANS) Chinese consumers spent $1.7 billion on Apple-sanctioned mobile apps in the third quarter of this year. That is about 15 per cent higher than the Americans’ spend of nearly $1.45 billion during the same period, a report said.

According to mobile analytics and research firm App Annie, the US market had led in Apple app store spending since 2010.

“In Q3 2016, Chinese consumers spent more than five times the amount they spent just two years prior in the iOS App Store. Furthermore, revenue growth is set to continue, with China projected to drive the largest absolute revenue growth for any country by 2020,” technology website Fortune quoted App Annie’s report as saying.

More Chinese consumers are buying mobile video games than ever, specifically those considered to be “multiplayer collaborative games” which people can play with or against other users.

The report pointed out that blockbuster augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokemon Go reached $600 million in sales “faster than any app to date”.

“Pokemon Go was not significantly borrowing time from other games or apps. Rather, its innovative AR gameplay and iconic IP were compelling enough to convince users to spend more time overall on their mobile devices,” the report noted.

After video games, Chinese consumers are heavy buyers of entertainment and video-streaming apps.

Apple recently announced it would open a research and development centre in Shenzhen — the hardware manufacturing hub for the world.

It is the second research and development centre in China announced by the Cupertino-based tech giant lately.

“We are excited to open a new research and development centre here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners,” an Apple spokesperson told Quartz.

Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met government officials to formally announce the new centre.

In May, Apple invested $1 billion into Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-hailing platform.

Apple and Chinese bank card association UnionPay Shoppers also launched Apple Pay earlier this year.

Cook last year said China would be Apple’s largest market within two years and that the number of Apple stores in China would almost double to 40 within that time frame.

–IANS

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