Almost one year ago I published the top UAE iPhone Apps 2012, so I thought I would revisit this post and see how things have changed. Has any App remained in the Top 10 spots?
Apps are arguably a superfluous addition to our lives, with the occasional app truly adding value to our day to day routine (news feeds / social apps / baby feeding reminder apps!!) and most are downloaded and never touched again.
PAID APPS: Pimp your Screen (“Pimp Your Screen is an award-winning app that helps you customize the look of your device by giving you an exclusive selection of specially designed backgrounds, icon skins, app shelves, neon combos and many other eye candies“) – takes the top spot on paid, with almost all other Apps in the paid sector being games.
GROSSING APPS: Slotomania and Texas Poker remains the only apps throughout that is consistently in the rankings, but slipping down the field.
What is truly interesting is the divergence of apps between devices. Granted the apps available a determinant of developers interest (and possible financial gain), but could we also draw some parallels to the divergent type of device purchaser? Are iPad users more interested in games and less interested in social/sharing? Are we doing more connecting / researching on our smartphones? Are tablets always going to be the 3rd device and unlikely to ever overtake smartphone or laptop?
Another interesting angle to look at is the types of Apps used by geography. The most obvious fact that no country has the same apps in any sector that are the same. This may seem sensible for local language or location based activity, but even games / social / commerce apps vary quite significantly across countries. The top apps in the USA on iPhone are almost all games (Free, Paid, Grossing), while in Italy there is a considerable amount of communication / sharing or functional apps, with few games. While over in China, there is a localised app economy emerging that differs drastically from the rest of the world (like everything else in the China Digital Walled Garden!) and many of the big brands (Sina Weibo, Baidu etc.) are leading the charge. The sheer size, volume of customer base and demand for mobile connected internet in China makes it a very enticing playground, if you know how to really localise.
Download & Discard!
What is evident by the changing APPS in the top 10 is their download then discard nature, as pertinent in the UAE as the rest of the world. What the analytics don’t tell us (yet!), is the actual engagement levels and thus overall value (however in-app purchasing helps to some extent).
Make it local or fail!
The localisation of Apps (language, location services, local information etc.) are vital for long term success and more so due to the local requirements of the mobile device user accessing and utilising content (and also consider the limited available technology to translate application content dynamically, unlike on web browsers). Simply taking an app that worked in New York exceptionally well, will not necessarily cut it in Dubai. Obviously there are outliers to this thought that have solely delivered in English and been a success, but predominantly these are short lived and throw-away or the app functionality does not require local content. Truly long-term and sustainable apps will continuously develop their product to serve the users local needs, no matter where in the world they are.
App developers are in working an exceptionally fast moving, fragmented and competitive sector, but looking at the constant consumer demand for new “gizmo’s” in your pocket and the viral nature if you are luckily get it right, it can certainly be a financially lucrative sector if you get can it right, just ask WhatsApp (WhatsApp valuation $1Bn).
Top iPhone Apps 2013 – United Arab Emirates
Top iPad Apps 2013 – United Arab Emirates
Top iPhone Apps 2013 – United States
Top iPhone Apps 2013 – Italy
Top iPhone Apps 2013 – China
Source: App Annie. Data accessed July 31 2013. Paid – refers to both App and in-App purchases. App Annie reports on rankings dynamically, meaning that App rankings can change frequently.