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Insights & Events
1 August, 2017
With increased smartphone adoption worldwide it’s no surprise that App Annie expects the number of app users globally to double to 6.3 billion by 2021, resulting in the app economy being worth US$6.3 trillion.
With this in mind, global expansion proves as a great opportunity for apps to grow their audiences and we’ve noticed many Chinese companies have seen great success when expanding internationally with Utility apps.
In 2014 Chinese company, Apus Group, launched its Apus Launcher app and within just four months it had acquired 30 million users worldwide. The app allows android devices to function more like an iPhone. Less than 10% of these downloads were from within China, instead the app’s most popular countries were the US, India and Brazil.
Similarly, Sungy Mobile, another Chinese company, developed its Go Launcher app which surpassed 200 million users just after hitting the market. 70% of Go Launcher’s users were from outside of China.
What are the factors that drive global success for Utility apps?
Utility apps are one of the simpler verticals when it comes to localisation. This is due to their lack of direct engagement and because their sole value lies in their functionality.
When app developers consider a localisation strategy for taking their apps in other verticals international, there are many things to consider. Beyond just word-for-word language translation, you’ve got to understand foreign cultural traditions, the latest pop culture and the difference of how users will use your app for each country.
Users download a Utility app for a core benefit, such as boosting battery life or increasing speed, etc. The apps success is not so reliant on the user experience and user interface.
Similarly, apps within the Utility vertical don’t require direct engagement for survival. When a user installs the app, it works its magic in the background without the user having to continuously engage. Therefore, the use of Utility apps is fairly standardised across countries making them very easy to adapt to new markets.
A Flurry Analytics study (2015) revealed Utilities & Productivity app-use had a year-over-year growth rate of 125%, underlining the increased use of these apps. Device inefficiencies are common pain points across all countries and is reflected through many Utility apps, with their popular regions including both emerging and developed countries.
For example, Baidu’s Du Speed Booster app reached 400 million downloads worldwide not long after being released. The US was a main source of growth followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico. This suggests that smartphone battery life is a shared problem between users in all markets.
With increased smartphone users worldwide and increased accessibility through the production of cheaper smartphones, the demand for Utility apps is on the rise. Users want to enhance the performance of their smartphones as much as possible, either to compensate for a cheaper smartphone as is the case in emerging markets, or to accommodate for the increased usage in developed markets.
When compared to other verticals, Utility is much more diverse making it easier for smaller players to see success when expanding globally. In some verticals it is difficult to differentiate from incumbents. However due to the diverse purposes of Utility apps, companies are not competing with all other apps in the vertical, as each can provide distinctly different benefits.
Mpire has helped many large APAC Utility apps grow their users on an international scale.
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