Is the Japanese App Market More Mature than the US Market?


The Japanese smartphone market is huge. In some ways, the smartphone usage is even bigger in Japan than in the US. According to Google’s “Our Mobile Planet”, the average Japanese smartphone user (2013):

  • has 36 apps installed
  • used 8 apps in the last 30 days
  • paid for 18 apps

By comparison, the average US smartphone user:

  • has 33 apps installed
  • used 12 apps in the last 30 days
  • paid for 8 apps

What’s interesting to note, though, is that the US 2013 indicate an upward trend on all three of the above points. The average number of apps on a smartphone was 23 in 2011. Meanwhile, the average number of apps on a Japanese smartphone seems to be decreasing (was 45 in 2011) while the average number of paid apps is increasing (was 8 in 2011). Perhaps the Japanese app market has reached a level of maturity where users are willing to pay for a superior experience.

This is why A/B testing is increasingly popular in Japan. A/B testing is the only way to optimize your app in a data-driven way. For our Japanese readers, you can see the following articles on A/B testing in Japanese:

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