BENGALURU: India is rapidly moving into the mobile app age and is already the fourth-largest mobile app economy. The amount of time Indians spend on apps has also increased dramatically, says mobile-app analytics company App Annie.
In total app downloads per year, only China, US, and Brazil are ahead of India. The annual figure for India is projected to grow by 92% to reach 7.7 billion downloads this year, and further to 20.1 billion by 2020.
China's app download is expected to grow at a much slower 29% this year, but the absolute figure will be more than 6 times that of India's at 49 billion.
"With the introduction of affordable smartphones and better infrastructure supporting mobile, and given India's population, the growth here is expected to be significant," Junde Yu, MD of App Annie APAC, said. He said the most important thing that is now driving the app economy here is not the number of downloads or the revenue but just the amount of time spent by users on the mobile app.
The amount of time Indians spent on apps in the first quarter of 2016 more than doubled compared to that in the first quarter of 2014. In retail apps, the time spent grew by 11.5 times during the same period, driven by e-commerce majors like Flipkart-Myntra, Amazon, and Snapdeal. The time spent on video streaming apps grew by 7.4 times, with YouTube and Hotstar leading the way.
Speaking to TOI, Yu said, "People have this perception in India that users spend more time on browsers. That is not true. Our data shows that the percentage of time spent on apps in India is the same as around the world, at 93% (the remaining 7% comes from mobile browsers)."
App Annie finds that over 25% of Android users in India use at least one ride-sharing app (those like Ola and Uber). This figure was the highest among all countries - in the US, UK, and Brazil, it is below 20%.
"This was a little surprising. But I think India is a developing country so the users are finding the need to use these transport services more," Yu said. Among ride-sharing apps, Ola is the most used and downloaded app, followed by Uber.
In retail, e-tailing firms, who tend to have a mobile-first approach, led the way, quite a contrast to mature markets where brick-and- mortar and web-first players still have a big share. "Close to 75% of the top 10 mobile retail apps in India in both iOS and Google Play store have a mobile-first approach. In the US and UK, this number is only 10%," Yu said.
Flipkart was ahead of Amazon in India in terms of monthly active Android users in Q1 of 2016. However, in terms of app downloads in both Google and iOS app store, Amazon took the top slot for the same period. "Amazon can get ahead of Flipkart. Even in Japan, it is giving competition to homegrown player Rakuten," Yu said. Asia Pacific is the biggest region in the global app economy, accounting for 50% of total global app downloads.
Source : TOI