Emerging App Markets: Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey

Exactly one year ago we wrote a publication about the rise of the application market in a number of East Asian countries. Over the course of the past year the application market in those same East Asian countries continued to grow at a high pace, while at the same time other markets also started to adopt smartphones. We analyzed the application market in the top 30 countries over the course of the past year in terms of revenue, and found four emerging countries to be especially interesting: Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. All developers that develop for multiple markets should keep an eye on these countries, as they showed strong growth during the past year, and are likely to continue or even accelerate their growth.

This report covers four of the top growth markets for applications: Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. All revenue data in this report covers the revenues generated by the top 200 highest grossing applications, unless otherwise noted. The analysis is limited to the 30 countries that have generated the most revenue during May 2012.

The major findings are:

  • Excluding the East Asian countries, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey are the fastest growing markets in terms of revenues generated in the Apple App Store for iPhone with yearly growth rates that range between 54% and 115%.
  • The growth in app revenue in Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey since September 2011 ranges between 76% and 91% in the Apple App Store for iPad. For Russia, the growth in revenue in Google Play is 250% – more than twice the growth rate of the US.
  • Only 4% of all apps in the Apple App Store for iPhone are available in Russian, however, 70% of the revenue from the 200 top grossing apps is generated by apps that are translated into Russian.
  • Since games became available in April 2012 in the Apple App Store for iPhone in Brazil, the revenues increased by more than 80% in one month alone, making Brazil the single largest app market in Latin America.
  • The preferences for types of apps differ largely per country. In Russia, the Books category is a top four category in terms of generated revenue. In Brazil and Turkey, the Books category ranks among the least successful type of applications.
  • Paid apps are not popular in Turkey: only 2 paid apps are downloaded for every 100 downloaded free apps.
  • More than half of the revenue is generated by free apps with in-app purchases in Turkey and Russia. Alternatively, in Mexico and Brazil, paid apps without in-app purchases is the most successful business model. purchases is the most successful business model.

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Hendrik Koekkoek