Q1 vs Q2 2015: Mobile Market Trends

Marina Sapunova
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App Annie issued Market Index Q2 2015 with the key mobile industry trends. We’ve done a comparison of changes in trends between Q1 and Q2, as well as shared valuable insights and stats supporting them to help you better understand the state of the market in the first half of 2015.

App Stores Downloads and Revenues

Over the past several quarters, app store downloads and revenues have followed a familiar pattern. Google Play led in downloads while iOS maintained a sizeable but shrinking lead over Google Play in revenues.

In Q2 2015, Google Play extended its lead over iOS in downloads – a significant increase from the 70% gap seen in Q1 2015.


The leap, according to App Annie, was the result of increasing smartphone ownership in emerging markets, led by Brazil, India, and Southeast Asian countries. The smartphone penetration in those countries remains below 30%, leaving huge room for growth.


The revenue situation remained unchanged compared to Q1 with iOS App Store worldwide revenue being 70% higher than Google Play. China’s explosive download performance in Q1 laid the foundation for future revenue growth. iOS developers are reaping benefits already as China saw the biggest sequential quarterly gain in revenue share in Q2 2015.


Top Geographic Trends

In Q1 2015, iOS downloads in China surpassed those in the United States. This was primary driven by downloads of games and only partially caused by the recent launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple found success in Greater China due to rapid 4G adoption, retail expansion, and an increased appetite for premium devices with larger screens.

However, Samsung retained its worldwide #1 leadership with 24.6% share in Q1 2015, 6.3% above Apple.


In Q2 2015, one of the most significant trends in geos was the Taiwan’s rocket-like trajectory in Google Play, leaving Germany (one of the strongest markets for Google Play by revenue) in its wake. This big jump was driven by explosive growth in core mobile games (RPGs and MMORPGs), led my market leader Kunlun Games and Elix Technology. Other breakout performances were exhibited by “rising stars” like Dino Games and Jodo Game.


Top of Categories – the Rise of Video Streaming

In Q2 2015 the Top Categories by Downloads mirror those of Q1 with games continuing to be the top category driving most downloads from both app stores.


The fantastic performance of video streaming apps elevated the Entertainment category to #4 by iOS revenue. HBO Now and Hulu fueled revenue growth in the United States, while in China headliners were Youku, iQIYI and Tencent Video.


Key Takeaways:

1. The growth of inexpensive-yet-capable Android devices continue to drive increasing smartphone ownership in emerging countries, thus fueling Google Play’s long-term growth.

2. Apple’s huge success in China with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus laid the foundation for future revenue growth.

3. The Games category persistently leads in both downloads and revenues in both app stores and remains the driving force for major shifts in geographies with Taiwan overtaking Germany in Google Play revenue in Q2.

4. Explosion of video streaming services naturally happens on all digital devices including smartphones and tablets. Streaming platforms and apps position themselves as the dominant force leading us into the next era of video entertainment. And the fastest growing sector which shouldn’t be overlooked is eSports.

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