The U.S. may still be the largest market in terms of iTunes App Store revenue, but its share of the the global app market is falling quickly according to Distimo. The app tracking company’s latest report reveals the U.S. is now the 13th fastest growing App Store — behind the likes of Japan, China, Russian, China, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Turkey.
While many developers are well aware of the booming app markets in East Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and China, Distimo found Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey are now some of the most lucrative markets for iOS developers. The company found iPhone app revenue in those countries has seen yearly growth rates ranging between 54 and 115 percent. Meanwhile on the iPad, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey registered revenue growth rates between 76 and 91 percent — higher than the U.S., China and Japan. According to Distimo, Russia is now the seventh largest market for the iPad.
While Distimo found the top 200 highest grossing iPhone apps in the world were earning 67 percent more year-on-year, the share of revenue generated in those apps by U.S. consumers has declined as the growth of international app markets has begun to outstrip domestic growth. Between 2010 and 2012, the share of revenue generated by U.S. consumers in the world’s 200 highest grossing apps fell from 45 to 31 percent.
Surprisingly, despite the revenue growth in Russian, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey, the U.S. is still leading in terms of growth generated by in-app purchases. While 66 percent of U.S. iPhone app revenues come from freemium titles, the figure is around 50 percent in Russia and Turkey. In Brazil and Mexico, 40 percent of revenue for the top 200 highest grossing iPhone apps comes from paid apps without in-app purchases.
The figures are particularly interesting given the fact that Google’s Android OS is also experiencing significant revenue growth in the same markets. In June App Annie reported it had found the three fastest growing markets for Google Play were Brazil, Japan and Russia. Shortly afterwards Google Play engineering director Chris Yerga said 67 percent of all Google Play revenues are generated outside of the U.S., revealing the Japanese and Korean Google Play stores had seen their revenue increase 14 times year-over-year. According to to Distimo’s figures, the iPhone App Store in Japan saw 560 percent revenue growth between May 2011 and 2012, making it the fastest growing iOS app market in the world.
Overall, Distimo’s report is very good news for developers. While localizing and translating app for release in non-english speaking countries can costly and daunting, the strong international revenue growth from both Android and iOS makes the risk much lower.