Nearshore Americas

iPhone Apps See Huge Buyer Uptake in Brazil and Mexico

Apple’s iPhone has taken the world by storm, and everyone knows it. What is more important is that Apple apps – an array of useful programs written to enhance the iPhone experience – are seeing significant consumption outside the  United States and particularly in Latin America, where the strength of emerging economies are rewriting how big tech firms like Apple will focus their energies for years to come.

For years, a major portion of Apple iPhone apps came from the United States, as the world’s largest economy generated almost half the app sales of the entire world. Two years ago, United States accounted for about 45 percent of iPhone app sales. But times are changing. Countries across the world have started waking up to the possibilities of a profitable Apple app market, and U.S. developers are feeling the heat of the competition.

The Rise of Brazil and Mexico 

Among the countries that have been making a mark in the iPhone app store, Brazil and Mexico have been particularly notable. In Brazil, Apple did not include games in its App store until 2012. This was mainly because the company failed to comply with Brazilian regulations which set limits on usage according to age.  So, hardcore Apple app fans in Brazil missed out on games like Angry Birds until 2012.

But after Apple satisfied regulators and launched the games in Brazilian App Store, sales of apps have seen a meteoric rise. After 2012,  income generated from Apple apps in Brazil increased by about 80 percent. The country is now the highest revenue generating app market in Latin America.

A cursory glance on the app sales trends in Brazil and Mexico can give interesting tips to developers on what they need to come up with to be successful in these markets. While entertainment is a high-demand area in other countries, citizens in Mexico and Brazil are using IPhones for a variety of other applications.

In Brazil, navigation comes in second, representing about 12 percent of the total app sales. In Mexico, it generates about 3% of the total revenues.

“Freemium apps”  – meanwhile –  have yet to generate a following in either in Mexico or in Brazil. Freemium apps are applications that are given away free to users. But the user spends money  buying various enhancement features for the game. In Mexico and Brazil, paid applications form a major part of the app related revenue (about 40 percent). It shows that users in these countries are more likely to pay for the use of apps while buying it rather than paying for enhancements later. This is a very critical tip for the developers because they can now concentrate more on apps that require payment at the time of purchase.

Books do not form a major part of the income in Mexico and Brazil. In fact, in Brazil book publishing is the fourth least successful revenue generating category when it comes to iPhone Apps.

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Future of iPhone Apps in Brazil and Mexico 

Developers of iPhone Apps will do well to target Brazil and Mexico in their future app developments because these two countries have registered enormous growth in the app market in the last few years. After Brazil, Mexico is the second largest market in Latin America in terms of revenue for the region.

With America slowly losing its dominance in the Apple apps market, increasingly eyes will be fixed on how dynamic emerging markets – including Chile, Colombia and Panama – will drive success in the new age of digital product consumption.

Raju Shanbhag

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