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Japan Tops U.S. in App Store Revenue For First Time

by Todd Haselton | March 23, 2014March 23, 2014 9:00 am PST


When you think of apps, you might first think of the U.S. – not because it’s home to Google and Apple and the related app stores, but also because the country has a massive penetration of smartphones and tablets with owners who are buying up apps and in-app content. While the U.S. was once the king of app store revenue generation, Japan is now spending even more on apps, according to new data from App Annie.

It’s impressive because, in 2013, Japanese consumers spent 40 percent less on apps, Japan Daily Press said. Today, the country spends 10 percent more than the United States, and it’s all due to increased sales of tablets and smartphones that are replacing feature phones in the hands of consumers. The revenue includes in-app content, such as stamps that are popular in chat apps like LINE, but also apps that are downloaded to replace those that were on feature phones. Japan Daily Press cited games as one massive growth area, and that in just a year Japanese consumers have quadrupled spending on gaming apps. Overall, the news outlet said, Japan spends more in Google Play and on Android apps than any other country.

The news is noteworthy, particularly for developers who are looking for new target markets for expansion. A developer might usually try to launch an app in the U.S. first, for example, if it’s his or her home country. Now, however, Japan looks like the hot place to get a release out – particularly if it runs on Android.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...