Flurry: Just 36% of mobile apps are made in the U.S.A.

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Thirty-six percent of all iOS and Android applications are built by U.S. developers, down from 45 percent a year ago, reports mobile app analytics firm Flurry.

Looking at apps weighted by total time, a metric that takes into account both user numbers and engagement, American-made apps account for 70 percent of the equation, down from 76 percent in 2012. "That makes sense given the size of the U.S. population, the fact that it was an app pioneer country, and the number of English speakers in other countries who might be able to use U.S.-made apps without any localization," said Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf. "Nonetheless, even the weighted percentage of apps made in the U.S.A. has dropped in the past year."

Apps designed by U.S.-based developers account for 59 percent of total time spent in apps by their countrymen--3 percent of apps accessed in the U.S. originate in the U.K., another 3 percent hail from China, and the remaining 33 percent come from developers in other nations. American apps account for 35 percent of total time U.K. consumers spend in apps, compared to 13 percent of homegrown apps; in Brazil, U.S. apps make up 25 percent of total time, ahead of homegrown apps at 8 percent, and in China, American apps slip to only 16 percent of time, far behind Chinese apps at 64 percent.

The size and growth rate of the Chinese app market suggest that the worldwide share of time spent in apps that are produced in the U.S. likely will contract further, Khalaf notes. "Translating apps and adapting apps to make them culturally appropriate is necessary in a country such as China to get most people to download and use most apps made elsewhere," he states. "Until recently, rapid growth in countries that didn't require that type of effort meant that many developers based in the United States probably didn't want to bother. With growth in the smartphone, tablet and app markets in countries such as the U.S. slowing and a lot of remaining room for growth in countries such as China, some developers may now be reconsidering that position. It will be interesting to see if many can successfully adapt their apps for world markets."

Developers in 23 countries have contributed at least 1,000 apps to the more than 350,000 apps Flurry measures worldwide. Globalization has long been an imperative for developers outside the U.S., Khalaf adds.

"Consider the situation facing a developer in a small country where the local language is not one of the world's dominant languages," he explains. "Unless they create an app with global appeal (e.g., a flashlight app), or that can be adapted to local markets relatively easily (e.g., translation of a weather app), they are likely to end up with very few users. That is a problem since the time required to develop an app for a small number of users is no different from that required to develop an app used by a large number of people."

For more:
- read this Flurry blog post

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